'Reformation of juvenile offenders necessary'

'Reformation of juvenile offenders necessary'

President of the State Juvenile Justice Board Hulavadi G Ramesh said, juvenile offenders should be assisted in reforming themselves, rather than meting atrocities against them in the form of punishments, here, on Sunday.

He was speaking during a workshop on child rights, organised by Karnataka State Legal Services Authority, District Legal Services Authority, District Administration, department of Women and Child Welfare, Police department and Bar Association.

Speaking on the concessions extended to juvenile offenders, he said, the main purpose of relaxing and changing the forms of punishment is to ensure that they are reformed and can lead a normal life. “It is the responsibility of everyone to bring juvenile offenders to the mainstream,” he said.

He blamed poverty, illiteracy and lack of basic facilities as causes that lead juveniles towards crime. There are many schemes aimed at the welfare of children. The departments concerned should ensure that the benefits reach the children, so as to reduce the number of offenders, he said.

Commenting on the schemes such as midday meal and Ksheera Bhagya, he described them as ‘scientific’, which would draw a large number of children towards schools. Apart from this, ethical and humanitarian values should be taught at schools, he said.

District Principal and Sessions Judge K S Mudgal said, the rise in the number of juvenile offences was a cause for concern. Of the total offences recorded in the country, one per cent are juvenile offences. Today, children are being used by people involved in gambling and narcotics trade, she said.

In a recent report on juvenile offenders, it was noted that 1,978 of the offenders were girls. About 63 per cent of the offences are committed by children between 16 to 18 years of age, she said.

Sessions on mental health of children, protecting children from sexual harassment and others were held during the day.

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