Juveniles are our future generation to lead the nation. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989 recognized that ‘Juvenile Delinquency’ means an offence or criminal activities committed by children at particular age below 18 years. Recently there emerged a serious issue, where we can see that teenagers are doing crime encouraged by crime related shows or movies. What’s the reason behind this?
A child in conflict with law does not come to the CDC right away. Rather, after a child is arrested, s/he is kept in police custody and produced before the court and sent to the nearest jail for the time being. When that child is sent to the CDC, the authorities create a file for the child and look for the child’s parents or closest relatives. The CDC then provides legal aid to the child by appointing a lawyer, if needed. Even after taking so many actions, is Juvenile Delinquency decreasing?
The increase in juvenile delinquency is a serious problem in modern society. The reason is that not all children have the privilege of living a comfortable life which is free from sorrow and suffering. Due to dire circumstances, some of these children have committed crimes and are punishable by national law.
According to section 82 from the Bangladesh Penal Code 1860, no act of a child under the age of 9 can be considered a crime. In the Majority Act, 1875, anyone under the age of 18 is called a juvenile. By interpreting sections 82-83 of the Penal Code and Children Act, juvenile offenders will be 12 to 16 years old.
According to UNICEF, there are 36 million teenagers in Bangladesh. Since 2012, Police Headquarters has juvenile delinquency record. In 2012, 751 of his children and youth were indicted in 484 cases. In the first half of 2020, 1,191 juvenile arrests in 821 cases. According to Social Welfare Directorate, most of these teenagers were arrested and taken to Correctional Centre for drug offenses, murder and rape.
According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, there are about 40 million children between the ages of 5 and 17. Of these, approximately 1.3 million children are engaged in hazardous work, 70% of whom are engaged in criminal activities due to poverty. 100 years of social science research have clearly confirmed that poverty is a major factor influencing crime.
In USA, about half of juvenile arrestees are for theft, minor assault, substance abuse, disorderly conduct, and curfew violation. OJJDP statistics show that theft is the leading cause of juvenile arrest. In 1999, 2,468,800 juvenile arrests were recorded. Of these, 380,500 arrests were for theft. And in 2000, 2,369,400 arrests were recorded. Of these, 363,500 were for theft. 198,400 of the arrests in 1999 and 203,900 in 2000 were for drug abuse violations. Violent crime accounted for 103,900 arrests in 1999 and 98,900 in 2000. The arrest rate dropped by 5% between 1999 and 2000.
Research shows that most of these juvenile delinquents are street children who were drawn into the criminal world through substance abuse. Some 70% juveniles are unable to get their basic needs from family, only 10% were able to get nothing and 20% were able to get something. So, the data reflects that majority of the juveniles weren’t able to get their basic needs from family, which led them to choose illegal way and involve in criminal activities.
Research says that 90% of juvenile delinquents watched movies and 10% did not. Most of the respondents have seen movies with friends. Data shows that 66.67% of respondents were watching the worst movies. Therefore, 29.63% and 25.93% of juvenile watched pornography and English movies.
However, current movies have a low percentage of positive aspects that can build juvenile mentality that plays a key role in the well-being of society as a whole. Aspects reflect the mindset of juvenile who engage in many anti-social or criminal activities. So, the negative impact of movies played a decisive role in juvenile delinquency.
In today’s generation, where children do not get proper time from parents are getting depressed. On the other side, children are fully addicted in social media and following crime programmes.
A 19-year-old boy named Abir Ali kidnapped a 5-year-old boy named Ayat in Chittagong, killed her and cut her into six pieces. The child had been missing since November 15.Inspector Elias Khan of the PBICtg metro unit told that Abir was able to chalk out the murder plan from watching episodes of the Indian crime anthology TV series Crime Patrol.
If we think this issue deeply, we can see that parents are not treating them well with enough times leading them to waste their time in social media and they are getting addicted in movie/series which is crime related and doing crime following those movies.
If we saw the case of THE STATE VS. OYSHEE RAHMAN 2017 (2) LNJ 347, we can relate this issue. Though court proved that Oyshee was adult in the time of crime but if we observe the background of the case, we can see that Oyshee didn’t get enough time in her teenage from her parents and then she got addicted in drugs. And the final result is, she killed her own parents.
We have to ensure that our children make more time for outdoor games. And also parents should make more time for them. They deserve some family time which gives them relief and will help them to focus in reality.
Some effective measures should be taken to prevent juvenile delinquency. Parents should spend more time discussing their child’s psychological development. We also need to pay attention to the little needs of our children. Educational institutions play an important role in creating values and ethics for children. Moral education should be made compulsory and counseling should be provided in all educational institutions. But the well-being of adolescents depends not only on others, such as parents, teachers, and society, but also on themselves.
To this end, rising juvenile delinquency in Bangladesh hinders the country’s development. The future of our country depends on the children of today, so it’s time for governments to highlight the issue so we can get one step closer to the pinnacle of progress.
Courtesy: Daily Observer, Bangladesh
Sabrina Pervin Shanta is a final year student at Department of Law, North-South University.