on the details of
Thematic Intervention: Juvenile Justice System and implementation of ICPS (Integrated Child Protection Scheme)
Bal Sakha being a pioneer organization in juvenile justice implementation at state level as well as national level has been contributing in different policy spaces. The organisation is working to ensure the protective environment for children in the state with special emphasis on children in need of care and protection and children in conflict with law. In Bihar, the organization has also initiated intervention on child labor, child marriages and strengthening the community led intervention. On one hand it is directly mobilizing the community and on the other hand also capacitating the systems to address the issue of child protection.
The chief functionary, Sanat Kumar Sinha is a trained social worker from College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai, who came to Bihar in 1982 to do a detailed study of children languishing in government homes in erstwhile Bihar. Sanat Kumar Sinha along with other trained social workers carried out a study for mainstreaming of the then called delinquent juveniles who were otherwise languishing in the homes and adult Jails and having a terrible life. It was found that there was great mismanagement prevailing in the homes and government was either ignorant or reluctant to reform it. Analysing the situation and dynamics of the problems of the delinquent juvenile, it was experienced that detachment from family/society is the main cause of their delinquency and the journey starts from the street, where they first land up after dissociating himself / herself from the family. Delinquency prevention programme came as street children programme in 1992 with a single objectives i.e. rehabilitation and mainstreaming of street/working children. Emphasis was (is) given on linking them up with their family/ community.
Key Issues Addressed:
Juvenile Justice Boards (JJBs): The juvenile justice boards (JJB) have been constituted for all the 38 districts of the state and are functional. Amongst these 38 juvenile justice boards (JJB), 28 boards are functioning in civil court premises and 6 JJB in observatory homes (OH) premises and 04 in rented buildings in the district level. In Munger district, one social member is serving as JJB member.
The key problems/issues are,
- Lack of confidence amongst the JJB members and thus they hesitate to challenge the Principal Magistrate
- Lack of official staffs to support the functioning and also availability of functional cost(though there has been order to appoint the support staffs on contractual basis but uniform guidelines, directions for appointment has not been issued)
- Records of juvenile from Chief Judicial Magistrate are always being delayed for JJB.
- Frequent change of principal magistrates and thus impacts on the procedure.
- Proving the juvenility is always delayed by the medical board at district level
CWC (Child Welfare Committee) s:
CWCs (Child Welfare Committee) have been constituted in all 37 districts in the state. Only Araria district is yet to form new CWC (Child Welfare Committee) . This district is attached with Supaul. In some of the districts they are on extended tenure. With regards to the functional staff, 24 child welfare committee doesn’t have any support staff. The major issue is full bench CWC (Child Welfare Committee) in the state.
District Child Protection Unit:-
In all 38 districts, there have been DCPU(District Child Protection Unit) in place. However, the DCPU full-fledged team is not in place. Child protection officer, institutional care and child protection officer, non-institutional care, accountant has not been appointed in all 38 districts. Assistant director cum DCPO (District Child Protection Officer) has been authorized and assigned to other non-child related work like election duty, examination duty and this impacts the process. Vulnerability mapping, Integrated child protection (ICP) development, monitoring of child protection schemes are not in place.
Child Care Institutions:- There is no observation home for girls in the State. The girls who are in conflict with law are currently kept at the After Care Home located at Gaighat, Patna. In 16 districts the observation home is under construction and in some places land acquisition is in process. The major challenges in the homes are as follows,
- Issue of quality and standard (food, medicine, water and sanitation, counseling etc)
- Service providers are not in place
- Vocational education is not taking place and thus funds got refunded
- Doctors never visit the home
- Individual care plan is not in place
- To enhance the standard of the government bodies of statutes and institutions meant for the JCL and CNCP(Children in Need of Care and Protection)
- To do advocacy with the government to activate the CWC (Child Welfare Committee) , Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) and other apparatus of the Juvenile Justice (JJ) systems in the state.
- To enhance the capacity of the personnel engaged in the JJ systems like CWC (Child Welfare Committee) /JJB members, Police, Special Juvenile Police Units (SJPU) members etc.
- To develop decentralized child protection committee (community based mechanism) for protection of the child rights with special focus to child protection issues
Achievements & Impact in the Review Period
Intervention on JJ System:
- Capacity building of JJB & CWC (Child Welfare Committee) members on implementation of the JJ Act 2015 undertaken.
- A study conducted (and draft report prepared) on the current status of CWCs (Child Welfare Committee) in 14 districts of Bihar’ was done in 2015 to understand the present status of the Child Welfare Committee (in terms of their composition), to find out different factors responsible in their quality delivery, to identify the capacity building needs of the CWC (Child Welfare Committee) members.
- BAL SAKHA and its core group members also identified potential members to apply for the CWC (Child Welfare Committee) post in the state. The core group members also facilitated their application filling process with required documents and standard protocol.
Achievement against envisaged outcomes of interventions on juvenile justice system:
- This multi-faceted intervention resulted into the extension of CWC (Child Welfare Committee) member’s tenure in the districts. Due to assembly election process state couldn’t form the full bench CWC (Child Welfare Committee) .
- Sustained capacity building inputs in the form of institutional technical session as well as informal handholding support has impacted in the smooth, timely disposal of the cases and also dealing with the complex cases while adhering to the standard protocol and provisions of the act.
Interventions for ensuring quality improvements in the observation homes:
- District core committee members have started to visit the observation homes in their respective districts
- Other NGOs have visited the homes and have been building pressure on the Superintendent to ensure compliance with the provisions of JJ Act in respect with facilities provided to children in observation homes
- BALSAKHA and core group members also filed RTI to know status of the disbursal of fund for the construction and maintenance of observation homes in 14-15 and the pendency of cases in JJB.
Achievement against envisaged Outcomes:-
- State has demonstrated positive measures in terms of recruitment of caregivers in the homes like teachers
- Child care plan development has been initiated in homes
- State government has sped up the process of land acquisition for the construction of homes
Engagement with Police, SJPU(Special Juvenile Police Units ) and Railway Police:
- Police persons were trained on JJ act, state rule and POCSO. Report of the training is in place
Achievement against envisaged Outcome in 1st Year:- Police:
- Multi-pronged approaches and actions taken by different NGOs since long back has resulted in improved number of children in CWC (Child Welfare Committee) and JJB by the police.
- Police are reaching out to CHILDLINE and also exploring avenues for children.
Interventions focusing on effective implementation of ICPS(Integrated Child Protection Scheme): (state level consultations/district level meeting involving various stakeholders)
- Specific issues of child protection in districts are identified and discussed in the forum
- Good coordination developed among government and non government officials
- Some operational issues pertaining to ICPS (Integrated Child Protection Scheme) roll out, JJ implementation have been identified. Non-state actors and state actors became sensitized on the identified issues
- All relevant stakeholders, including DCPU(District Child Protection Unit) and other authorities have become aware about the roles and responsibilities
Contribution in state process towards decentralization of the Child protection committee:- The resource organization also participated in various forums developed by other development agencies to conceptualize and contribute in the formation process of child protection committee (CPC). For many years, the coalition has also been working with the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) members through inclusion in the district level multi-stakeholder workshop and capacitating the stakeholders. This year, government of Bihar has incorporated the child protection agenda in the DRP/MRP training module.
Decentralized CPC roll out in 100 villages of Patna –
- Ward level, Panchayat level and Block level CPC are formed with representation from our capacitated BSM pool and included the child tracking as their primary agenda
CWC (Child Welfare Committee) & JJB
- State government is taking measures to form full bench CWC (Child Welfare Committee) and JJB members in the context of new Act
- SJPU & Railway Police :
- Department of Social Welfare and Department of Home Convergence for SJPU(Special Juvenile Police Units ) formation as per the JJ Act 2015. State Rules Formation:
- State government initiates discussion for formation of state JJ rule.
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