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children on bail even when accused of a non-bailable offence. However, in practice this authority s rarely used because granting bail to a child requires surety and bail amount similar to that of an adult. Moreover, the Act itself places restrictions on their authority, stating that the police should not release a child if it will “bring the child into association with reputed criminals”, “expose him to moral danger”, or where release would “defeat the ends of justice”. Before sending to court the arrested children are kept in lock-ups when they are required to be detained. In the PS, there is no separate lock-up for children and are kept with adult detainees.

387.Detention after charges brought: Children who are charged with bailable offences are invariably released on bail. Even when a child is charged with a non-bailable offence, the court is empowered under the Act to release him/her on bail if sufficient security is provided. A child who is not released on bail, the judicial process in Bangladesh enables a Magistrate to exercise his power of remanding children in protective custody, to a jail or a state controlled correctional institute. There are 3 correction centres (KUK) in the country.

388.However, with the passage of time the overall situation is improving mainly due to awareness and advocacy programmes undertaken by the Government and NGOS, increased surveillance, training and sensitization of concerned personnel including those from court and police and modernization of police. So far 47,206 persons arrested under the Vagrant Act, 1943, have been given shelter, food and different types of training in the six shelter homes of MoSW with the objective to rehabilitate them in the society.

The sentencing of juveniles, in particular the prohibition of capital punishment and life imprisonment

389.CRC and the Beijing Rules require the Government to establish a minimum age below which children will be presumed innocent. It is further stressed that the beginning of the age should not be set too low, having due regard to the child’s emotional, mental and intellectual maturity. In Bangladesh the Penal Code of 1860 (amended in 2004) states that nothing is an offence, which is done by a person under the age of 9 years. That is, it provides immunity for children up to 9 years of age against all criminal responsibilities. The Code safeguards the children of 9 to 12 years age-bracket on the basis of capacity of understanding the nature and consequences of their actions.

390.According to Children Act, 1974 the trial of a child should be held separately (from adult accused) in a building or room from the ordinary court in a home-like atmosphere. When making an order under the Act, the court must take into consideration the character and age of the child; the circumstances in which the child is living; and the report from a Probation Officer as to the child’s background and family history.

391.The Children Act, 1974 prohibits the use of capital-punishment against children under 16. There are very limited circumstances in which imprisonment can be imposed on a child of this age. In the event that either of the special circumstances described there exists and the offence of which the child has been found guilty is punishable with life imprisonment, then a sentence of life imprisonment can be imposed on such a child. In practice, on account of their age and immaturity, the courts rarely impose life term and death sentences on children under 18.

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