Juvenile delinquency in Bangladesh: Causes and consequences
Do you remember Alex from the movie A Clockwork Orange who was interested into rowdyism, rape and other violent activities? There are so many young individuals like Alex in our society who are called 'Juvenile Delinquents'.
The word 'juvenile' has derived from the Latin word 'juvenilis' which means young. In other words, 'juvenile' connotes a young person without fully developed traits of youth. According to John Eric, "Juvenile delinquent is a person between 8 and 16 years of age, who violates a law; and ordinarily the law does not hold a child 8 years of age legally responsible for anti-social behaviour. Juvenile delinquency simply means the offence committed by youthful offender under a particular age limit and, for Bangladesh, all offenders who are under 18 years old will be treated as Juvenile delinquents. But, there is no criminal liability for a child under the age of 9.
Juvenile delinquency is now a major concern all over the country. Children are the greatest resource for our future, they are the lights who will remove all darkness from the society and work for a better world. But, it is a matter of great regret that juvenile delinquency is raising in an alarming way. Many children of our society represent violence rather than innocence. But why?
Family separation or broken family
According to the researchers, 'juvenile delinquency' is positively co-related to 'family separation'. The more family separation occurs in a society, the more juvenile delinquency will be there. In this urbanization era, the idea of extended family has been eradicated and thus there is a lack of intimacy or bonding in most of the families. Moreover, families are breaking apart. A child from a broken family does not grow with proper care, and education which lead the child to an unrest future.
Lack of attachment
Psychologists say that 'secure attachment' which means a strong emotional bonding with one's parents is pivotal to child's mental growth. But, recent reports reveal that a high number of children in our country are not attached to their parents. Lack of attachment offers a boundless indiscipline lifestyle and so children those are not attached to their parents or dear ones are more likely to commit crimes.
Excessive use of internet
The juvenile or adolescent population is greatly influenced by the internet. Crime films, yellow literature, pornography or blue films are available in internet that is a threat to child's development. Various means of entertainment, sometimes, convey messages which put the children into dilemma because of the differences in cultural values.
There is a saying that poverty turns a good person into a bad one. Poverty or low income has close relationship with juvenile delinquency. In Bangladesh, millions of the families have no other options than living to slum or often on the street to live. So, a child who has grown up in such poor situation, life is street centred for them, not home centred which breeds demoralization and apathy. To find an escape from this horrible life, many juveniles choose the wrong path and involve in delinquency.
Easy access to drugs
Researchers found that, most of the street children in Dhaka city are involved in drug dealing. The increasing number of drug addicted children is on a high pick. Some out of just curiosity and others are addicted because of the easy access of drugs. Children who are drug addicted can't develop a strong personality and they involve in different types of crimes to get the money for their drug addiction.
The most influential criminologist of the twentieth century, Edwin H Sutherland, explained that a child learns self-behaviour pattern from his close associates. If a child has a close association with persons having antisocial or delinquents' attitude, he is surely to acquire antisocial or delinquent tendencies. In our country, sometimes, parents are not concerned about child's peer group or persons whom the children are associated with. Most children learn adult antisocial behaviour from the peers and try to follow them in their own life. Moreover, delinquency is a group activity. When a child finds thrill from his peer groups, he is more likely to be influenced and commit delinquency.
Irresponsibility of law enforcement agencies
The law enforcement agencies are playing a poor role in preparing juveniles as responsible citizens. The social role of the police is noticeably absent. They act very indifferent towards their responsibility to the children and their rights. The lack of implementing laws is increasing the number of delinquencies in our society.
The rise of juvenile delinquency in Bangladesh is hindering the development of the country. It is high time the government needed to put more emphasis on this issue as the future of our country rests in today's children. For maintaining a sustainable development for our country it's necessary to keep our children as one of the core concerns of the State. Only then we will be able to move one step closer to the apex of progress.