Children in criminal justice: a critical review of the contemporary penal laws in Sri Lanka
Today's children are the future of any society. If there is no proper protection and guidance for children today, the future of the country will be in dark. Therefore, it is the obligation of every generation to bring up children who will be adult citizens tomorrow in a proper way and in the crime-free environment. Unlike the other vulnerable groups, children are exceptionally vulnerable due to their dependency on adults. Therefore, it is the responsibility of all members of the society to ensure their protection which include proper care, guidance and training. However, in Sri Lanka both violence against children and juvenile delinquency have been increased during the last few years. According to the official crime statistics, children are subjected to violence in a range of contexts, including psychological, physical and sexual violence while on the other hand juvenile criminality also is extended to a variety of criminal offences. This situation is led to a considerable concern of the efficacy of the criminal justice and its system in Sri Lanka. It is true that, in recent years children and their problems in criminal justice as victims of crimes and delinquents, have been receiving attention both of the Government and as of the Sri Lankan society. Being a member State to some international instruments in preventing violence against children and dealing with children who are in conflict with the law, Sri Lanka has introduced some penal laws to address the issues related to children as victims and delinquents in criminal justice. However, it may be pointed out that these problems of higher level reflect that all what have been done are not sufficient. Therefore this study intends to critically evaluate the contemporary substantive penal laws and procedural laws relating to the violence against children and juvenile delinquency. This research is based on the qualitative research method which basically entails with an extensive examination of relevant provisions of the legal instruments available from national front as well as the legal and non legal instruments available from international front in some extent.
- Law