‘Media must ensure a child involved in crime is not stigmatised’
Emphasising on the need to sensitise police and media in dealing with juvenile cases, Former chairperson of Child Welfare Committee Bharti Sharma said it was the responsibility of the media to ensure that a child involved in a crime is not stigmatised.
She was speaking at an interactive talk with mediapersons organised by the NGO CRY-Child Rights and You on the Juvenile Justice Act on Monday.
"The media has the heavy duty of being the messengers that can create awareness among public," Sharma said at the workshop held at the International Women's Press Corp here.
"Sending a child to jail allows him/her to spend time with adult criminals, where he/she will graduate to further criminal activity. They need to unlearn things and although they may have developed physically, their cognitive development is slower. In most of the cases, the children have been deprived by their family, society and state. Hence, the onus is on us as a society to reintegrate them," Sharma said.
Soha Moitra, regional director of CRY, called the Act a protective legislation as children are different from adults and, hence, their understanding of right and wrong is influenced by their peers and past experiences.
Vijaylakshmi Arora, Director (Policy and Advocacy), CRY, highlighted how the Act has changed over the years — between 1850 and 2006 — especially after the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child legislation was ratified.
(Aleesha Matharu is a student of EXIMS)
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