Juvenile benches in 12 districts soon

Kathmandu, October 20:

The government is set to run juvenile benches in 12 district courts of the five development regions.

In this connection, the government has been preparing to equip the 12 district courts in Ilam, Makwanpur, Morang, Saptari, Rupandehi, Kanchanpur, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kaski, Banke and Surkhet with in-camera hearing and human resources like child psychologists and profession social workers to assist the juvenile cases, said Deepak Raj Sapkota, executive director at Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB).

“To support juvenile cases, twelve child psychologists and twelve professional social workers have been given five-month and two-month long training respectively,” said Sapkota, adding that these personnel would prioritise children’s cases and execute them within 120 days of

their registration at the district courts. Police stations will have juvenile justice officers trained on international and domestic standards for the administration of juvenile justice and on skills to deal with children in conflict with the law to facilitate the cases, he said “The police stations will also have separate place for detention of children for up to 24 hours,” he said.

Correction homes will be set up in Morang, Banke to keep children in conflict with the law during investigation and trial period, he added.

The minimum age under which a child will be responsible to bear criminal charge is 10 under the existing Nepali law.

The benches to be introduced are part of the government’s commitment to address

child rights under the Juvenile Justice Working Procedure Regulation, 2063 and international legal instruments such as Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989.