The Rights of the Child Commission (RCC) is calling for the enforcement of the Juvenile Justice Bill and by extension, the release of youths from juvenile holding facilities who were held for Wandering.
At a press conference on Monday, Chairperson of the RCC, Aleema Nasir noted that 65% of the youths in juvenile holding facilities are there for wandering. This is despite the fact that the Juvenile Justice Bill was passed in April 2018, abolishing the offences of wandering, truancy and vagrancy.
“…children are still there in the holding centres and the NOC [New Opportunity Corps] who were charged for wandering and we hope that very soon, this will be removed and those children will be released to get back into society,” Nasir told the media.
In response to questions from the News Room, Nasir said that the law is not being enforced.
Commissioner, Nicole Cole told the News Room that the RCC will be lobbying the Minister of Public Security to have the law enforced.
The Juvenile Justice Bill repealed the archaic 1931 Juvenile Offenders Act.
The new legislation also sets the new age of criminal liability at 14 from the previous age of 10.