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CRC/C/BGD/4

page 86

combined capacity of 500 children. During the last five years, 2932 adolescents have been rehabilitated from these centres. Plan for construction of two more centres for girls have been approved.

376.The powers of a Juvenile Court can be exercised by the High Court, a Court of Session, Court of Additional/Assistant Sessions Judge, and a Magistrate of the First Class for those areas where no Juvenile Court has been established.

377.Lack of knowledge of the concerned personnel such as police, social welfare officers and others about national and international legal standards affecting children is a major problem in juvenile justice system in Bangladesh. The other areas were found in that exercise to require attention:

Coordination among concerned ministries, agencies, departments and organizations

Limited Infrastructure; and

Promotion of non-denial freedom measures and alternative to institutionalisation

Table 8.2

Key statistics on juvenile justice, Bangladesh

Child population below 18 years

59 million

Minimum age of criminal responsibility

9 years

Age when children can be punished as adults

16 years

Ages when children treated as adults

16-18 years

Number of children development centres (KUK)

3

378.Based on the assessment, the Government in association with UNICEF arranged training for police officers, judges and other officials on child rights for last few years. New training materials on juvenile justice were prepared, which include the Hand Book for Police and Bench Books for Judges and Magistrates on Children in Contact with the Juvenile Justice System. Moreover, the international instruments on juvenile justice and non-custodial measures have been printed for wider dissemination.

379.In 2006, key juvenile justice actors including UN agencies, donors, national and international NGOs established a Juvenile Justice Roundtable (JJR) aiming at supporting the Government in conducting a comprehensive reform of the Juvenile Justice system based on international experience which has shown that isolated and fragmented interventions cannot bring tangible results for children. The JJR arranges training, technical consultations and other supports towards establishing an appropriate juvenile justice system in the country.

380.The Government has established a committee to review the laws relating to juvenile justice which will consider the age for criminal responsibility (in line with CRC) along with other priority issues. The Government has also appointed a high level Juvenile Justice Tasks Force, and has identified priority areas of action. The need for comprehensive legal reform has been

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