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Non-custodial approach to Child Protection

Non-custodial approach to Child Protection: Working with children in conflict with law

Along with children in need of care and protection (CNCP) Praajak has also been working
with children in conflict with law since its inception in the different government Observation
Homes and through the Muktangan project working with children in contact with railways
across West Bengal. The main focus of Praajak’s work with the CCL has been to divert them
from the justice system and ensure family-based / community-based rehabilitation for them
through intensive psycho social support.
The programme envisages implementation of the spirit and tenets of the Juvenile Justice
(Care and Protection) of Children Act, 2015 regarding diversion and measures for dealing
with children in conflict with law without resorting to judicial proceedings unless it is in the
best interest of the child or the society as a whole. This programme is unique to firstly,
employ “positive measures” of mobilizing resources of those of family and community, for
promoting the well-being, providing an inclusive and enabling environment to reduce
vulnerabilities of children secondly, to support structures like Juvenile Justice Boards (JJB) to
follow the “Principle of Diversion” and build capacities of concerned stakeholders. With this
programme Praajak is trying to work towards a dynamic and efficient inter-agency
cooperation and collaboration between the Juvenile Justice Boards, Police, Child Care
Institutions (CCI) and District Child Protection Units (DCPU) to ensure rehabilitation of CCLs
through restorative approaches. Praajak has reached out to 35 CCLs through this project
from the districts of South 24 Parganas, Murshidabad and Jalpaiguri. Through its
interventions with a strong focus on mental well-being, Praajak has been able to
successfully reintegrate these children with their families and/or extended families and no
instances of recidivism has been reported.