CUK, UNICEF hold session on juvenile justice
Srinagar: The Department of Law, Central University of Kashmir (CUK) in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Thursday organised a session on “Situation of Child Rights in the Legal Landscape of Jammu and Kashmir and Proposed Way Forward”.
During the programme, the Department of Law and UNICEF decided to establish a Juvenile Legal Aid Clinic in the varsity to provide legal assistance to the children in conflict with law.
Dean School of Legal Studies, Prof. Sheikh Showkat highlighted the plight of children in Kashmir and inadequacy of the mechanism to deal with their problems. He said the child rights and juvenile justice become prime targets in a conflict-ridden situation. Prof Showkat said the department has been holding legal literacy camps across the Kashmir in order to aware the masses about their rights. The department has been contributing to Juvenile Justice as several research scholars have taken up projects on the subject and are frequently visiting the juvenile homes, reflecting the conditions there and suggesting the remedial measures to the concerned authorities, he said.
Speaking about the role and functioning of UNICEF in Kashmir, UNICEF Child Protection Consultant for J&K, Hilal Bhat said the organization resumed its functioning in Kashmir from 2014 and was presently a technical advisor to the government, providing training to the officials regarding juvenile justice and child protection.
The UNICEF has established J&K Child Resource Centre which will be the backbone in implementing the juvenile justice in the State and will focus on research, management information system and information education and communication, he said.
UNICEF Child Protection Specialist India, Tannistha Datta, said the focus on prevention of wrong acts committed by children should be paramount. “Parenting, community level prevention, vigilance, creating opportunities for young people to do positive things is need of the hour,” Tannistha said, and underscored the need to sensitize and train the officials involved in the juvenile justice system.
Child Protection Legal Expert, Anant Asthana, shared his experience vis-à-vis Juvenile Justice system across the country. Asthana said he drafted the rules for juvenile justice in J&K, “which has been able to put an end to several malpractices”. He said the legal aid clinic to be established in CUK would prove extremely beneficial to the children and their families.