Violation of criminal law by classifying the age of children according to the law of different countries is called juvenile delinquency. Juvenile deliquency , which is also called juvenile offending or youth crime is atually the participation of minor that is juveniles the individuals younger than the legal age of majority in illegal behaviour.
The concept of juvenile delinquency deals with negative behaviour of children and teenagers that may result in crimes or illegal actions. It is a crime for an adult to do something, but it is not a crime for a child to do something. Similarlly, what an adult does not commit is a crime but what juvenile does is a crime.
For example Adult can smoke, but if juvenile smoke it becomes a crime. Adults can have sex with consent but even if children have consent, it beconmes a crime .
Further, a juvenile delinquent is a person below the age of 18 and has committed and offence. Different countries have different age group for children. 11 to 16 years in UK, 7to 16 years in America, 9 to 15 years in Philipines. In the context of Nepal, according to article 2(j) of the Children’s Act, 2075 refers to a person who has not reached at the age of 18.
According to the laws of different countries, the age limit has been set so that the child does not have a criminal brain so he/she does not have to take the responsibility for whatever he/she does. The extent to which the law stipulates that there is no criminal brain varies from country to country. Like under 10 years in UK, under 7 years in America, under 9 years in Philipines and under 10 years in Nepal.
The UN found that juvenile deliquency is a largely a group phenomenon, as between 2/3 and 3/4 of all juvenile offences were found to have been committed by young people who belonged to groups such as gangs. In the Russian Federation, criminal activity among juvenile in groups was found to be higher than that of adult offenders. Delinquent behaviour caused by certain groups and juvenile subcultures.
In the context of Nepal the cases of juvenile crimes have been increasing in the country day by day. According to the status of children in Nepal -2019 published by the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior citizens. 380(366 boys and 14 girls) were sent to juvenile correction centre in 2017/18 and 821(798 boys and 23 girls) were sent to juvenile correction centre in 2018/19. Which has inreased by over 115%. From these data, we can clearly see that generally, young boy are naturally more daring, aggressive and prone to risk taking.
The subjects of juvenile deliquency are as follows.
- Breaking the rule, regulation and law.
- To engage in illegal occupation.
- Assist in selling or purchasing alcohol.
- Smoking and consuming alcohol.
- To behave indecently.
- Falling into addiction.
- Staying out of parental control.
- Involvement of sexual activities.
- Running away from school.
- Driving in high speed without any emergency.
- Roaming in day and night without having any work.
Causes of juvenile deliquency
1) Individual and familial causes
- lake of familial love and care
- unfulfilled need or desire
- conflict between father and mother
- difference of age age and gender
2) Economic causes
- economic chaos
- low family income
3) Social and environmental causes
- family background
- bad company of friends
- school environment
- criminal area
- social disorganisation
4) Biological causes
- hereditary factors
- constitutional defects
5) Psychological causes
- weak super ego
- lack of security
- mental disease
- emotional instability
In addition to the reasons mentioned above, adolscent instability, sex indulgence, irrestible impulse, hostility, associational impact, racial difference, lack of sex education, impact of movies and pornographic literature, urbanization, role of media are also the causes of juvenile deliquency.
Consequences of juvenile deliquency
- juvenile deliquency affects the victim most.
- It makes juvenile selfish and insensitive.
- It affects juvenile delinquents college life and career choice.
- The family must pay extra money and time when their child is in detention or on probation.
- The family has an ethical obligaion to the victims of the deliquents.
- Juvenile delinquency disturbs and damages family relationships.
- It causes unrest and turmoil in the society.
- Juvenile deliquents make the community unsafe and they make the government to spend colossal sum of money in safety and law enforcement.
- This will reduce the number of captains in the country in future.
- Juvenile delinquency puts the future of children in jeopardy.
Prevention and solution of juvenile delinquency
- Build strong emotional ties in the family.
- Ensure that parents closely moniter the kind of company that their children keep.
- Keep a close eye on students to ensure that teachers know their activities.
- Provide healthy entertainment to the children.
- Protect and promote the child rights.
- Informing children about sex education and reproductive health.
- Counsel those children who involved in delinquent behaviours or actions.
- Give special treatment to juveniles who are at the high risk of developing delinquent behaviour.
- Facilitate recreational facilities to juveniles after they are released from custudy.
- Take care of the best interest of the children.
Juvenile delinquency is a sensitive issue. Nowadays, children are getting involved in juvenile delinquency for various reasons. At present, technology has made many things easy to live life and something uncomfortable and even contrary to the situation. Most of the higher level of criminals in world of organized crime seem to be involved in some form of crime from an early young age. In order to make children good citizens in the future, the negativity and frustration in them must be removed and made positive and creative.
Finally, in order to minimize juvenile delinquency, the stakeholders need to pay timely attention to make the children aware of their duties and parents and teachers aware of their responsibilities.