Trends and Causes of Juvenile Delinquency

Trends and Causes of Juvenile Delinquency

Current Trends of Juvenile Delinquency
The present situation with regard to juvenile crime and delinquency can be characterized by following basic facts and trends: (Khan, B.U. and M.M. Rahman (2008) 'Protection of Children in Conflict with the Law in Bangladesh', Save the Children UK, Dhaka: Bangladesh Programme.)
·        There has been an observed increase in violent and aggravated crimes among youth.
·        The number of drug-related crimes is growing.
·        The process of globalization and greater mobility of large population groups have led to an increase in criminal activity associated with intolerance towards members of other cultures.
·        The difficulties encountered by immigrants and their descendants in certain countries are sometimes related to the high levels of group crime deriving from the activities of ethnically based delinquent group.
·        In many cases juvenile crimes are linked to less obvious sources of motivation; various action may reflect, for example, the standards of particular subcultures, teachings or traditions deriving from religious radicalism, or the compulsion to use of violence as a means of contracting gender identity.
·        Children and adolescent in difficult circumstances constitute ready reserve for organized crimes, participation in armed conflicts, human and drug trafficking, and sexual exploitation.
·        The disintegration of families, poverty, and the death of parents in armed conflict or from HIV / AIDS has led to the forced independence of many young people around the world.

Cause of Juvenile Delinquency in Bangladesh
A considerable segment of people of this country are very poor. They live below poverty line in terms of the true indicators of poverty. According to recent statistics, around 6.5 million people of Bangladesh are living below poverty line. Due to poor economic condition, parents cannot get their children to go to educational institutions and assist them in developing good educational or vocational career. Parents want their children to assist them in work field instead of going to educational institutions. Sometimes parents cannot provide their children with all basic necessities of human life, specifically food and clothing. Then the poor children set their legs out towards criminal activities. The children do not know which activities are lawful and which are not. They require some work which can provide their food and clothing. Organized gangs deploy poor children in criminal activities by taking advantage of their vulnerable economic condition. Recent statistics show that, huge number of poor children (under 18 years of age) of Jessore and Khulna has been deployed in carrying Phensydil, and other contraband drugs. Some poor children become members of pick pocket gangs and petty thievery.
Problematic family is a crucial cause for the deviation of the juveniles. Absence of father or mother due to death or divorce, lack of parental control, lack of home discipline, bad relation between father and mother, presence of criminal among the members of family are the principal indications of problematic family. Due to these problems the mental growth of a child takes an abnormal course. In slum areas adult males and females get married several times. They have children of their first and second marriages. These children are not usually taken care of. These uncared children become notorious criminal of different organized gangs. The juveniles of a well-off family having father residing abroad derails due to lack of father's guidance. They get huge amount of money from their father. Affluence and father's absence makes the juvenile to involve with vicious circle.
Due to poverty, loss of land by river erosion, and unemployment lots of people has been migrating from different parts of the country to Dhaka and other metropolitan cities. Large scale migration from village to city started from 1980s. Many women of rural areas came to city and started working in garment factories. This titanic migration had degenerating affect on city life destroying social equilibrium of Dhaka, Chittagong and some other metropolitan cities. The people coming from villages usually take shelter in slum areas, pavements and streets. They are deprived of basic necessities and basic amenities of life. Father and mother of the family go out of their abode at the very first hour of the day for earning money remaining their children uncared and uncontrolled. In this situation children (popularly known as tokai) are used by the politicians in their political activities, which include picketing and ransacking cars and shops. They are also utilized by the organized gangs in their criminal activities.

Surrounding environment of slum area, smuggling zone and crime prone areas are very vulnerable for the juveniles. When residing in such areas juveniles come in contact with criminal pattern and learn criminal techniques, then they become notorious criminals. Action movies and obscene pictures have negative impact on the mindset of the juveniles. The violence and sexuality visualized in the movies make the juvenile to go brothel and involve them with violent activities. There is no single cause or simple explanation for the development of delinquency behavior but there is different cause of delinquency. The different causes are being followed.
In the context of Bangladesh, at present, the juvenile delinquency is a burning issue, which affects our social life severely. But for this crisis not only our juveniles are blamed particularly but our present social structure, culture and overall mismanagement of our economy are also responsible. 27th October 2004 the ‘Daily Noyadigonta’ published a report on juvenile delinquency in Bangladesh. This report emphasized that juveniles are involving in various criminal activities through underworld connection. They are involving in theft, pick-pocketing, murder, arms and bomb caring, drug-selling etc. The report showed the Godfathers use them for holding the arms and drugs. These juveniles are involving in various criminal activities for the lack of parent’s care and poverty; and the Godfathers properly utilize their (juveniles) weakness of poverty (Noyadigonto, 27th October, 2004: 8). In an article, Md. Anwar Hossan (2002) has identified various factors of juvenile delinquency in Bangladesh. The vital factors which influence the juveniles to involve in various criminal activities are- imitation, mass media, child labor, influence of slum, poverty, lack of constructive recreation, peer group association, family crisis etc, (Hossan, 2002: 19-25).
Mohammed Afsar Uddin (1995) identified many factors for the involvement of juveniles in the criminal activities in his ‘Juvenile Delinquency in Bangladesh’. The vital factor for juvenile delinquency are– Psychological factors, cultural factors, family condition, family control & relationship. When a particular society breaks down; there nobody can replaces himself easily in the normal norms and traditional rules of society. In this circumstance the juveniles feel so pressure and frustration because of the present depression and imbalance of society. So juveniles involve in many anti-social activities for the present societal depression. People migrate from village to urban because of industrialization and urbanization, various working sources etc. As a result, peoples are cut off from their previous norms, values, rules-regulations and other customs. Therefore, people feel many cultural problems in the present situation. The existing cultural conflict in society affects the juvenile severely that lead them to involve in many criminal activities. Condition of family, control over children by family also promotes the juvenile to involve in various crimes. Data about family control over juvenile shows, 57% juvenile’s family applied the over control on their juveniles and that lead them to involve in many delinquent activities gradually (Afsaruddin 1995: 25-28).
In Bangladesh, not only the poor but also the children of rich family are involving in many anti-social activities. The rich family gives their children huge money for the expenditure and that influences them to activate any criminal activities indirectly. In many poor families, the family members are always involving in quarrel because of poverty, which pays negative impacts on the children’s mind.
As a result, children expend most of the time with their friends in outdoor to be relieved from family crisis, which gradually influences them to involve in many criminal activities.

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