Juvenile Justice under state of suspension in Manipur, says ACHR

GUWAHATI  - The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) in its latest report, -Manipur: Juvenile Justice Suspended- released in Guwahati Tuesday claimed that juvenile justice has been suspended in Manipur by the Ministry of Women and Child Development because of corruption and misuse of the resources.

Speaking to Newzfirst about the intervention of International Bodies the director of ACHR said that the Ministry has violated UN guidelines by setting aside juvenile justice in the state.

It is to be noted that India agreed to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on 11th December 1992 to state its commitment to the cause of children.

The situations of the Children Homes are far from being satisfactory. Given that no Inspection Committee has been set up as required under the JJ(C&PC) Act, the situations in the Homes established under the Act remain deplorable, says the report.

According to the Manipur Government, there are more than 3000 children in the State who are affected by armed conflict, ethnic clashes, orphan children and children living with HIV/AIDS.

ACHR stated that Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act prevails over any other national security legislation including the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958. However, the Central security forces do not have any knowledge about the JJ(C&PC) Act and children have been regularly apprehended, detained and subjected to torture while many were killed in fake encounters in clear violations of the JJ(C&PC) Act.

The report also cited 14 cases of extrajudicial execution of children by the Central and the State security forces. There are reports of ill-treatment of children in the Children Homes.

Demands:

The ACHR urged the State Government of Manipur to issue a direction to the Army and para-military forces that are legally bound to operate in aid of and under the civil administration to ensure full respect and compliance with the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2000 while dealing with children.

The ACHR has also urged Government to operationalise the existing Special Juvenile Police Units, Juvenile Justice Boards and the Inspection Committees in letter and spirit and provide updated information on the website of the Social Welfare Department to ensure transparency, accountability and accessibility.

The ACHR pressed Government to register a case under with respect to ill-treatment of children at Children Homes’, to establish at least one Juvenile Observation Home and one Special Home in each district of Manipur; and to conduct training programmes for the judges appointed under the State Judicial Services on the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2000.

When asked about the situation of juveniles in Assam, the ACHR Director said that even though the condition of Assam is somewhat better compared to Manipur, a similar dossier on Assam is being compiled and will be out soon.


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