Lack of education and peer pressure are the major reasons behind children committing crimes, a report by child rights NGO, Butterflies, shows.
The research, ‘Children and Crime -The Behind Story’, which will be released on Friday. As many as 605 juveniles were interviewed for the report. Of these, 182 were inmates of minor detention centres in Delhi.
The report says that of the 182 children in correction homes, only 43 children were studying at the time of their apprehension.
“School factors such as absence, under achievement and low school attachment/bonding are likely to get the children attracted and associated with deviant groups and get involved in violent acts,” the report read.
Children from four states, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Delhi were interviewed for the report. In Kerala 22 out of 32, in Odisha 38 out of 107, and in Tamil Nadu 63 out of 284 children were studying when they committed crimes.
Among children who were in schools when they committed crimes, it was seen that either their academic performance was poor or the state of infrastructure or teaching facilities in schools were inadequate.
“The study thus portrays that while the familial factors laid the root, the school propelled their deviance with their association with children of similar problems,” the report read.
The study also showed that 58.8% delinquents in the Capital had committed crimes in groups. Kerala topped the list with 78.1% children committing crimes in groups.
It was seen that children who were friends with adults or children older than their own age had a higher chance of committing crimes early in their childhood.
Interviews with juveniles showed that many got addicted to alcohol, drugs and smoking from their associations with their older friends.
“Association with adult people is likely to make them susceptible to exploitation and offences easily,” the report read. “Evidences prove that the peers of these children in detention centres exhibited certain common features such as drop outs, experience of several vulnerabilities and deprivations and lack of adequate parenting.”
Rita Panicker, founder and director of Butterflies said, “This is a comprehensive report which took around three years to compile. Several children in detention homes were interviewed and their cases were closely followed for days. If we do not listen to these children and their problems are not brought before the government, we will not be able to control juvenile crimes.”