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Title: A window on the juvenile justice system in India : an observation home in Bihar
Author: Ghosh, Jaya
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 9700
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis explores the experiences of children in conflict with the law living in the Observation Home at Patna, the state capital of Bihar, India. The data was collected through participant observation, focus group discussions and in-depth interviews in consultation with the children, and 10 interviews were undertaken with stakeholders in the system. The study concentrates on the voices of children in order to develop an understanding of their experiences within the institutional environment and of their frames of reference in relation to different stakeholders as well as their own position in terms of participation and the working of the Juvenile Justice System. Based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Indian State is committed to implementing a child-friendly system and facilitating children’s right to participation. However, in practice we find a system where the children in conflict with the law are often labelled as 'criminals' when they come in the purview of the system and hence perceived as to deserve punishment rather than sympathy, especially if they are accused of serious offences. These children go through torture, inhumane treatment and Police brutality; the majority of them experience a lengthy trial, without sufficient legal assistance, information about the process and minimum scope for participation. Despite the elaborate international framework that exists for juvenile justice, the fact remains that there is a huge gap between the law and the real situation on the ground. The study aims to review the Juvenile Justice System, to contribute to a better understanding of the problems faced by the children in conflict with the law, and to investigate the obstacles to effective implementation with a particular focus on current practices. The state needs to go beyond just making policy-level changes based on international parameters or obligations and start to develop an effective system by bringing all the stakeholders together as a team committed to the achievement of a child- friendly system.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available