Regional Consultation on Juvenile Justice Act 2015 inaugurated
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Regional Consultation on Juvenile Justice Act 2015 inaugurated

RANCHI, 11 February 2017 – The third Eastern Region Round Table Conferences on effective implementation of Juvenile Justice Act 2015 was inaugurated by Mr. Raghubar Das, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Jharkhand in BNR Chanakya BNR here today. The conference is being organized by the Supreme Court Juvenile Justice Committee in partnership with Department of Women, Child Development & Social Security with UNICEF support and is hosted by the Jharkhand High Court.

The conferences seeks to promote learnings from across States and to develop strategies for effective implementation of the JJ Act in India. The states participating in this two day conference are Orissa, Chattisgarh, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand & Andaman and Nicobar.

In August 2013, a one person Committee headed by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Madan B Lokur was set up to ensure the effective implementation of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. During a review meeting with state level JJ Committees of the Hon’ble High Courts on 22 February 2014 it was suggested that Regional Round Table Conferences of the High Court Committees should be organized regularly to enable dialogue and collective action towards more effective implementation of the JJ Act 2000.

These Regional Round Table Conferences are the first of its kind in the country and was referred to as a ‘breakthrough moment for India’. It provides an opportunity for multiple stakeholders from participating States to share their experiences and to ensure that speedy justice to children becomes a reality for all children in India.

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Madan B Lokur, Judge, Supreme Court of India said, “The objective of this Third Regional Round Table Conference in Ranchi is to take stock of the progress made on the key recommendations from the previous two conferences; focus on the non-institutional mechanisms for rehabilitation and restoration of children; and deliberate on the linkages with other child right legislations especially the protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012.”

He said, “The rehabilitation, restoration and counselling services for children in need of care and protection is extremely important. Alternate care methods; special courts for vulnerable witnesses; effective utilization of finances; social audits are the need of the hour and will be deliberated on in this two day conference.” 

Hon’ble Mr. Justice D N Patel, Judge, High Court of Jharkhand & Executive Chairman, JHALSA said, ““This is an important forum to bring together the judiciary, executive and all stakeholders on a common platform to review the plan of action and develop the way forward for effective implementation of the JJ Act.”

Mr. Raghubar Das, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Jharkhand said, “The Government of Jharkhand is committed to the effective implementation of the JJ Act 2015. A few steps taken in this direction are the establishment of video conference facilities in 13 JJ Boards with another coming up soon in Hazaribagh; model Children’s Homes in Ranchi and Jamshedpur; shelter home for girls is Deoghar; and two more in Ranchi and Gumla for children in need of care and protection to provide them with education and vocational skills.”

He added, “The child is an embodiment of God and a child’s survival, development and protection is our responsibility. The government is planning to set up the Bal Garib Samriddhi Yojana Fund with the contribution of all members of society and the Government.” 

Ms Rajbala Verma, Chief Secretary, GoJ said, “Juvenile delinquency exists is all societies and is a complex problem. The reasons for it are varied such as poverty, broken homes, rural-urban migration, etc. In such a scenario prevention is important. There is a need to create awareness about punitive measures, timely help through education, skilling and empowerment opportunities; as well as sensitive handling and building of knowledge and relevant skills. The state government has launched various welfare schemes; ensured timely trials to avoid harassment of victims; and organized orientation training for professionals and law enforcement agencies.”

Mr. Javier Aguilar, Chief of Child Protection, UNICEF India said, "The ingredients for the successful implementation of the JJ Act 2015 are a credible system; adequate capacities and resources whether human or financial; tracking of budgetary expenditure; and a strengthened and accountable system."

Dr. Madhulika Jonathan, Chief UNICEF Jharkhand said, “UNICEF is collaborating with the Judiciary, Department of Women, Child Development and Social Security and the police in its efforts to build adequate structures and systems for the effective implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act at state level. Todays’ consultation is very crucial as it will help develop strategies for effective implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act across the country for speedy justice to children and remove bottlenecks in mission mode for a safe and secure childhood for the most vulnerable children of our country.”

She said, “There are five key asks for children - creation of a JJ fund at the state level to facilitate implementation of the provisions in the JJ Act; set up ‘special courts’ in the states with child friendly infrastructure as envisaged in the POCSO Act 2012; provision of alternate care mechanisms for children as in foster care and sponsorship; trained human resources in the ICPS; & creation of a social policing cadre in the state for effective investigation and support to women and children who are victims of crime.”

The consultation was attended by the Supreme Court Committee; officials from the Ministry & Departments of Women and Child Development from the participating states, officials from other government departments, representatives from the SCPCRs/NCPCR; members of the High Court Committees of States in the zone; select Sessions/POCSO Court Judges; representatives from the Police; Directors of State Judicial Academy; Member Secretary of State Legal Services Authority; members of CWC/JJB; civil society, academicians working on the issue and officers from State Child Protection Unit.

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