Bhopal: A two day Regional Round Table Conference on Effective Implementation of Law relating to Juvenile Justice commenced here today.
This regional conference is being organised by Supreme Court Committee and High court Committee on Juvenile Justice; hosted by High Court of Madhya Pradesh, Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Madhya Pradesh with support of UNICEF, Madhya Pradesh.
This conference is latest in the chain of regional round table conferences to promote learning from across the States and to develop strategies for effective implementation of the JJ Act. The regional roundtables of the north-eastern (at Guwahati), eastern (at Cuttack), southern (at Chennai) and have been held in 2014, and northern regional conference was held at Lucknow 2015.
Justice Madan B Lokur, Judge Supreme Court of India, addressing the inaugural called for collective efforts to improve lives for children, even though they have come in conflict with law. He emphasised on the need to find solutions to the problems. There is a need to improve functioning of Juvenile Justice Boards so that we can hasten the process of cases pending and role of CWCs. There is need to strengthen coordination between police and administration as children even though they have come in conflict with law have right to life with dignity.
Justice Ajay Manikrao Khanwilkar, Chief Justice High court of Madhya Pradesh, said justice system needs to be responsive to needs of children. There is still awareness gap and lack of coordination among statuary bodies, which needs to be addressed. There Accountability at highest level for child protection and taking measures to do something better for tomorrow then we are doing today was stressed upon by him.
Trevor Clark, Chief UNICEF Madhya Pradesh, UNICEF, expressed the view that ‘all children, have rights which are equal at all times, even though they are in conflict with law’ In case children have violated law they should be treated in a manner consistent with their sense of dignity, worth and which reinforces their respect for human rights. We need to recognize and address the circumstances of the crime and also structural root causes that may have impacted the family or the child rather than focusing on the offence alone.
Justice R.S. Jha, Chairperson of Juvenile Justice Committee, High court of Madhya Pradesh gave welcome address and spoke on the objectives of the conference that it aims to strengthen key areas under Juvenile Justice Act, such as effectiveness of Child Welfare Committees, Juvenile Justice Boards, Institutions under JJ Act, and providing effective legal aid to children.
Speakers from Delhi, Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh spoke on the work being done for implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act, challenges faced and possible areas they are planning to do for improving implementation of the Act.
Members of the High Court Committee on Juvenile Justice, Principal Secretaries of WCD, Labour and Home and representatives of Judicial and legal bodies, civil society organisations, and academia are participating from these States.