Tuesday, October 3, 2023

NHRC Takes Suo Motu Notice of Jharkhand’s Juvenile Care Failures

Special Rapporteur’s Report on Inadequate Housing & Rehabilitation Triggers Action

NHRC observes Jharkhand government’s neglect towards juvenile offenders, demands report on improvements and accountability.

RANCHI – The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo motu notice of the Special Rapporteur’s alarming report on the inadequate housing, care, and rehabilitation programs for juvenile offenders, operated by the Jharkhand government.

An NHRC official stated, "A government institution cannot be permitted to remain in total apathy and neglect due to the authorities’ negligence, thereby violating the human rights of children in conflict with the law."

The Commission’s stern stance comes in response to a report highlighting deplorable conditions, some of which have been endured by minors living together in JJH for years.

Officials have confirmed that notifications have been sent to the Jharkhand chief secretary and the department responsible for women and children’s development.

The requests seek detailed reports on a multitude of issues within a six-week timeframe.

Among the inquiries are questions about cases filed, actions against police atrocities on minors, and any undue pressures that may have been exerted.

NHRC has also inquired about measures taken or planned for improved living conditions, such as installing CCTV cameras, enhancing lighting, providing sanitary food, and separating children based on age and the severity of crimes.

The juvenile home has been found to lack basic amenities, according to the NHRC Special Rapporteur Suchitra Sinha.

Inadequate security, supervision, and staffing have led to violent altercations among teenage groups.

The lack of accountability from senior authorities, including infrequent visits by the District Welfare Officer, has exacerbated the issue.

JJHR must respond to NHRC’s directives within six weeks, focusing on actions taken or proposed to fix responsibility on the Superintendent and District Welfare Officer and detailing why regular visits to JJHR have not been conducted.


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