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  • Thursday, 28 September 2023
Juvenile justice in Pakistan

Juvenile justice in Pakistan


Juvenile justice in Pakistan


The juvenile justice system in Pakistan has evolved significantly over time, driven by international conventions and domestic legislation. Its primary goal is to provide a fair and rehabilitative approach to young offenders, recognizing their vulnerability and potential for reform.

Historical Context:

Pakistan's juvenile justice system traces its roots back to the colonial era, but significant reforms started in the 21st century. The Juvenile Justice System Ordinance (JJSO) of 2000 established a separate framework for handling juvenile offenders, focusing on their rehabilitation rather than punishment.

Legal Framework:

The JJSO and subsequent amendments form the core of Pakistan's juvenile justice system. The age of criminal responsibility is set at 7 years, while the maximum age for juvenile jurisdiction is 18. The law emphasizes diversionary measures, such as probation and counseling, over incarceration.


Despite legal provisions, the system faces challenges like inadequate infrastructure, lack of trained personnel, and socio-economic disparities affecting access to justice. Juveniles often encounter issues like delayed trials, inadequate legal representation, and inhumane conditions in detention centers.

Rehabilitation Efforts:

Rehabilitation remains a central aspect of the juvenile justice system in Pakistan. Efforts include vocational training, education, and counseling aimed at reintegrating young offenders into society.

NGOs and governmental agencies collaborate to provide support for mental and emotional well-being. Areas for Improvement:

To strengthen the juvenile justice system, Pakistan could focus on improving infrastructure, enhancing training for professionals, and increasing awareness about the rights of young offenders. Emphasizing restorative justice practices could also foster a more effective and compassionate approach. 


Pakistan's juvenile justice system reflects a commitment to rehabilitation and protection of young offenders. While progress has been made, there's room for further improvement. By addressing challenges, enhancing rehabilitation efforts, and promoting a holistic approach, Pakistan can ensure that its juvenile justice system aligns with international standards and effectively serves the best interests of its youth.


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