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July 4, 2004 

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The Children's Act 1974

Definition of Children and Age Determination
Section 2(f): A child means a person under the age of 16 years

Section 66: Whenever a person is brought before any criminal court and it appears to the court that he is a child, the court shall make an inquiry as to the age of that person and, for the purpose shall take such evidence as may be forthcoming at the hearing of that case, and shall record a finding thereupon, stating his age as nearly as may be.

Initial Contact with Law Enforcing Agencies and Bail
Section 48: Where a person apparently under the age of 16 years is arrested on a charge of non-bailable offence and cannot be brought forthwith before a court, the officer-in-charge of the police station may release him/her on bail.

Section 49: Where a person apparently under the age of sixteen years having been arrested is not released on bail, the officer-in-charge of the police station shall cause him/her to be detained in a remand home or a place of safety until he can be brought before a court.

A court, on remanding for trial a child who is not released on bail, shall order him to be detained in a remand home or a place of safety.

Section 50: Immediately after the arrest of a child, it shall be the duty of the police officer or any other person affecting the arrest to inform the Probation Officer of such arrest in order to enable the Probation Officer to proceed forthwith in obtaining information regarding the antecedents and family history and other material circumstances likely to assist the Court in making its order.

Section: 13(2): Where the child is arrested, the officer-in-charge of the police station to which he/she is brought shall forthwith inform the parent or guardian of such arrest, if found and shall also cause them to be directed to attend the court before which the child will appear and specify the date of such appearance.

Jurisdiction and Trial
Section 4: The powers conferred on a Juvenile Court shall be exercisable by the High Court Division a court of Session, a Court Additional Sessions Judge and of an Assistant Sessions Judge and a Magistrate of the first class.

Section 6: No child shall be charged with or tired for any offence together with an adult.

Section 7: In the trial of a case in which a child is charged with an offence Court shall sit in a building, or a room different from that in which the ordinary sittings of the Court are held, or on different days, or at different times from those at which the ordinary sitting of the Court are held.

Section 8: When a child is accused along with an adult of having committed an offence, the case shall be separated and transferred to the Juvenile Court or the Court empowered to exercise the powers of a Juvenile Court.

Section 51: No child shall be sentenced to death, transportation, or imprisonment unless the court is of the opinion that the crime committed is of so serious nature or the child is so unruly or depraved that he can not be committed to a certified institute, the child can be sentenced to imprisonment.

A youthful offender sentenced to imprisonment shall not be allowed to associate with the adult prisoners.

Section 15: For the purpose of any order with a Court has to pass under the Children's Act, the Court shall have regard to the following factors: the character and age of the child; the circumstances in which the child is living; the reports made by the probation officer; and such other matters required to be taken into consideration in the interests of the child.

Section 53: A court may discharge any young offender after due admonition, release on probation of good conduct or commit a child to the care of a fit person executing a bond with or without sureties.

Confidentiality and Non-stigmatization
Section 9 & 10: The trial of juveniles shall be held in camera i.e. only people directly involved in the case and the officers of the court can be present during the trial. The Court may also ask people not involved with the case to withdraw.

Section 16 & 17: The report of Probation Officer or any other report considered by the Court under 15 shall be treated as confidential and publication of report of proceedings, photograph of child leading directly or indirectly the identity of such child is prohibited and punishable by a fine of tk 200.

Section 70 & 71: Words convictions and sentenced can not be used in relation to children and when a child is found to have committed any offence, the fact that she/he has been so found shall not operate as a disqualification for any office, employment or election under any law.

Probation Officer for Specialized Assistance
Section 31: A Juvenile Court may appoint Probation Officers from among suitable persons in the district, if there is no Probation Officer in its area and may appoint a Probation Officer for a particular juvenile. His duties to be under the supervision of the Juvenile Court and where no court exists, the Court of Sessions.

Duties of the Probation Officer include: visit or receives visits from the child at reasonable intervals; see that the conditions of bond are fulfilled; report to the Court as to the behaviour of the child; advise assist and befriend the child and, where necessary, endeavor to find him suitable employment; and perform and any other duty which may be prescribed.

Institution and Accommodations
Section 2(j): Place of safety includes remand home, or any other suitable place or institution and where such institution is not available, in the case of male children only, a police station in which arrangements are available or can be made for keeping children in custody separately from other offenders.

Section 20: "Remand Home" is a place established and maintained by government for the purposes of detention, diagnosis, and classification of children committed to custody by the Court or Police.

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