United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children (UNCRC), 1989

#child is considered to be less than 18 years of age

#four components

  • Right to Survival
  • Right to Protection
  • Right to development
  • Right to participation

Juvenile Justice Act, 2000

#Age of boys and girls uniformely raised to 18 years : in complisnce to UNCRC

#two categories

  • child in need of care and protection : children found in difficult circumstances and in danger of survival and growth : law has the provision for the establishment of Child welfare committee
  • juvenile in conflict with law : children who are alleged to have committed crime : law has provision for the establishment of Juvenile Justice board which consists of Juditial magistrate, social workers where one member has to be woman

#children not to be exposed to media

#maximum punishment of 3 years in reform home or observation home

Juvenile Justice Amendment Act, 2015

->what was the necessity that culminated to amend 2000 act in 2015 ???

1)rise in juvenile deliquency : 30% rise in 2012-13

2)70% of children accused are of the age group 16-18

3)1% of total criminal crimes are from children [NCRB Report]

4)Delhi rape case [Nirbhaya case]

->important provision of the act

  • nomenclature : no longer juvenile but child or child in conflict with law to avoid negative cannotations associated with the term juvenile
  • clarity in powers, responsibility, and functions of juvenile justice board and child welfare committee
  • special provisions for heinous crimes committed by children of less than 16 years of age
  • a juvenile cannot be awarded life imprisonment or capital punishment
  • new provision for adoption : Central Adoption Resouese Authority
  • Rehbilitation and social integration of children in conflict with law

->Criticism of the act

  • Against UNCRC
  • Against article 20(1) : retrosppective effect of criminal law
  • Justice Verma committee alleged that if a child of less than 18 years of age is subjected to normal jail and normal trial these remains no chance of rehabilitation,,they often turn into hardened criminals and repeat offenses…
  • no juvenile justice reform board : 45258 cases still pending
  • lack of rehabilitation centres for adolescence
  • issue of emotional intelligence is not considerd


An ideal juvenile system is that prioritises recovery, prevention ,civil inclusion rather than punishment. A system that acknowledges exclusion and does not promote and perpetuate it…

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