It’s not much fun being a teenage boy in Kashmir.
Despite an obligation under international law to treat anyone below 18 as a child, police in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) continue to jail 16- and 17-year old boys as adults!
17-year old Murtaza Manzoor was detained without charge by the police in January 2011. He was held for nearly four months in a prison that had no special facilities for children.
Although India has amended its national juvenile justice law to make it consistent with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the law in the state of J&K has not yet been updated.
Murtaza is not alone. Many other boys aged between 16 and 18 years are falling through the cracks in J&K’s juvenile justice laws and being treated as adults.
The Chief Minister of J&K, Omar Abdullah, has recognised the need for reform in this area. To make sure these reforms happen, we need you to urge the Chief Minister to begin by amending the Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice Act (JKJJA) in the 2011 Monsoon session of the J&K Assembly.
Your signature can make a difference!
We will deliver your signatures in the form of a letter to the Chief Minister of the state as well as other key parliamentarians.
I call upon the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Juvenile Justice Act, to bring it in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Image: Indian paramilitary soldiers detain a Kashmiri youth during a protest in Srinagar, India, Sunday, May 30, 2010. ©AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan.