It’s a Jail! Experiences of the girls at the Child Development Centre (CDC) of Bangladesh
Mrs Shilpi Dey1
1School of Social Sciences, Western Sydney University, Nsw, Australia, Liverpool, Australia
The involvement of children in the justice system has become a matter of increasingly serious concern including in Bangladesh. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)-1989, gives the most comprehensive statement regarding protecting and promoting the rights, welfare, and treatment of children who ‘come in conflict with the law’ or ‘come in contact with the law’ under the JS, emphasizing the need for it to be child-centered, as distinct from a punitive system. There is limited research on the experiences of the Bangladesh girls who have been placed under confinement under the justice system. This paper aims to explore whether the rights of the girls detained at the Child Development Centre (CDC) of the Bangladeshi girls are protected under the justice system. The CDC for girls, provides accommodation, correction, and development services for young people under the age of 18. Girls are sent to this government-run centre from the court for various reasons, which broadly fall under two categories: ‘come into contact with the law’ and ‘come into conflict with the law.’ Girls who are victims are placed under the same roof as girls convicted for alleged murder, drug dealing, and other serious offenses.
No matter victims or offenders, all girls are receiving minimal education, training programs, and the same treatment. Girls who are innocent of any crime other than victims are coming in close contact with the girls alleged or convicted for serious or minor offenses. Moreover, many girls have experienced the CDC as ‘jail’. This situation indicates that the rights of the child, as stipulated by the UN Convention in 1989, and ratified by Bangladesh in 1990, are not being fully met: girls are not receiving adequate care and protection to ensure their best interest which needs to be addressed by the Bangladeshi government.
Mrs. Dey is an academic staff of the Department of Social Work, Jagannath University, Bangladesh, who has had contained BSS(Hons) and MSS in Social Welfare from the University of Dhaka. She has completed her M.Phil in 2015 from the same university on “Treatment of Juvenile delinquents: Efficacy of the Non-institutional Services”. She has nine publications, both national and international level in peer-reviewed journals on the research area: gender, violence and justice issues. At present, she is doing a Ph.D. at Western Sydney University to explore the experiences of the Bangladeshi adolescent girls detained under the justice system.