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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Make administration more child-friendly

Update : 21 Aug 2013, 03:46 PM

Two young girls, Oishee and Sumi, have each been remanded for five days, charged with murdering Oishee’s parents. Being minors, their treatment at the hands of law enforcement officials is a reflection of how poorly our judicial system deals with children under the age of 18.

Law enforcement, and, indeed, all administrative bodies, should behave with children in a sensitive manner and respect their rights, but that was not the case here.

In this editorial, we will not look at whether or not they are guilty of the crime. Rather, our focus is on how the case against these girls has been conducted.

Since Oishee and Sumi are minors, there should have been probation officers present to handle their case. Moreover, they should not have been automatically remanded as adults.

According to the Children’s Act, there is a provision to appoint probation officers for minors who are accused of crimes, as well as those who are victims of crimes. Even High Court directives have been passed to give administrative bodies direction on how to behave with children.

A 2009 High Court directive also ordered each police station to have at least two officers, one of whom must be a female, to handle cases involving juveniles accused of crimes.

However, it seems as if none of the government institutions have taken up these directives. Instead, they seem to have been disregarded entirely.

This cannot be allowed to continue. The procedure for bringing perpetrators to justice must be followed in keeping with due process.

The Children’s Act was passed to protect the rights of children in our country. That act should be upheld and strictly followed.

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