NEPAL: Juvenile court to deliver child-friendly justice

Summary: The government is making preparations to set up a juvenile court in the Valley to dispense child-friendly justice.

Although there are around 30 benches in district courts across the country to hear cases related to crimes committed by juveniles, they have not been able to meet their objectives, said officials.

“Existing juvenile benches are not well-equipped to deal with cases of juvenile delinquency, which are on the rise. Hence the need for a court specialising in juvenile justice,” said an undersecretary of the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare.

The Supreme Court in 2005 directed the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare to establish juvenile benches as per the need and in accordance with the Child Rights Act-1991. The ministry has already conducted a feasibility study to establish the court, which will have judges‚ a social worker and a child psychiatrist.

He said the court, likely to be established in Kathmandu, will function on the basis of child rights conventions. “The principle of juvenile justice states that a child should not be considered a criminal but someone who needs special love, care and treatment to help resolve the problem,” said the undersecretary.

After their arrest, children end up being tried under criminal justice system developed for adults and they get punishment and term on a par with grown-ups‚ said undersecretary.

pdf: The Himalayan Times


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