This book offers a sociological exploration of street children in India and what pulls and pushes them into delinquency, at a time when the government of India is contemplating strengthening its juvenile justice system. It draws on in-depth, qualitative research carried out by an NGO which included unstructured and structured interviews with over 600 children as well as stakeholders. Through the stories of Indian children, this book examines the major factors which together play a crucial role in their engagement in deviant behaviour as they grow up. However, the authors argue that they should not be viewed not as a dangerous threat but as the country’s most valuable resource. The authors conclude that a punitive strategy may not be the best option, advocating instead for a focus on restorative justice which has been found to be effective and beneficial alongside other strategies which help strengthen families and enhance parenting skills.
1. The Context
2. The Socio-economic Profile of Children in Conflict with the Law
3. The Nature of Offences and Culpability
4. Factors Predisposing Children to Offences
5. The Juvenile Justice System: A Pathway for the Restoration of Children in Conflict with the Law
6. Summary and Conclusions
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rita Panicker is the founder and director of Butterflies India, a non-governmental organization in New Delhi, working to protect and empower street and working children since 1989. In 1990 she was appointed Consultant by UNICEF New York and Nigeria to assist the UNICEF Nigeria office in formulating a national policy and Child Protection programme.
Saju Parackal is a social scientist and currently a board member of Butterflies. He has coordinated a number of research studies on socially relevant issues under the auspices of international agencies, central/state ministries and agencies. He has been a visiting faculty to schools of Social Work on Research Methodology, Project Planning and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) used for Data Analysis. He has also published two books and several articles.