Sampurna Behura, Director – Strategic Litigation at Bachpan Bachao Andolan says, “We no longer call them ‘juvenile delinquents’ but ‘children in conflict with law’. You have to acknowledge that these children are themselves victims and not criminals.“TV News media, newspapers and the internet are full of viral content of sexual harassment, lynching and graphic details of sexual crime. Children are impressionable and are influenced by peer groups. Lack of attention from parents is also impacting,” she added.On the situation in Delhi, she says, “Delhi government needs to ensure timely disbursement of funds, develop a robust rehabilitation plan, increase funding and invest in building a pool of dedicated counsellors to help the children with mental health, provide scholarship and sustenance allowance, seed funding for projects children may want to take up on attaining adulthood and so on.” Such provisions exist in law, she points out, but are seldom implemented or implemented well.While children from marginalized communities and economically weaker classes are prone to commit crime because of poverty and the social environment they grow up in, even upper-class urban children are not entirely immune.


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