Institutional Framework to deal with Juvenile Delinquency

Various institutions play important roles in responding to the needs of children in conflict with the law in Pakistan.


The police are often the first point of contact for juvenile offenders. Their responsibilities include apprehending juveniles suspected of committing offenses, conducting investigations, and ensuring that the legal rights of the child are upheld during the arrest process. The police is also responsible for notifying juvenile cases to probation officers.

Federal Investigation Authority

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is also a law enforcement agency, and it plays a role in cases involving juvenile offenders, particularly in the realm of cyber crimes and tasked with enforcing immigration laws and regulating the movement of people across Pakistan’s borders. It monitors entry and exit points, investigates cases of illegal immigration, and takes action against individuals involved in human smuggling or trafficking.

Probation and Parole Departments

Probation is the supervision of a suspended sentence or postponed final judgment of the court which does not require deprivation of liberty and where the offender is sent back to community for a period of not less than one and not more than three years. The probation officer on the directives of the court prepares a Social Investigation Report to assist the court in reaching a decision regarding whether or not the offender is released on probation. In the context of parole, it is the early conditional release of a good conduct prisoner in the last part of his/her imprisonment under the supervision of a parole officer. The probation and parole officers are mandated by law to visit prisons and assist prison management in identification of offenders who seem eligible for probation or parole and to conduct assessment interviews with them.

Child Protection Agencies

All provinces in Pakistan have child protection agencies with a mandate to protect children, and offer case-management and referral support services. These agencies may intervene in cases of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of juvenile offenders.

Prison Department

The prison department manages juvenile detention facilities where juvenile offenders are held pending trial or serving sentences (Remand Home, Prisons, Juvenile Industrial Schools, Borstal Institutes, etc). These facilities aim to provide a safe and secure environment for juvenile offenders while promoting their rehabilitation and reintegration into society. The prison department is responsible for providing a safe and secure environment and offering services to juvenile offenders, including education, vocational training, and counselling, to address their needs.

Prosecution Department

The prosecution department plays a crucial role within the juvenile justice system, serving as a vital link between law enforcement and the judicial process. Charged with the responsibility of evaluating evidence gathered by the police, the prosecution has a responsibility to ensure that cases are thoroughly examined and prepared for adjudication. This involves scrutinizing the investigative procedures employed by law enforcement, identifying any potential flaws or inconsistencies in the evidence, and ensuring that all legal standards are met. If significant flaws are discovered, the prosecution has the authority to return the case to the investigating officers for further inquiry or correction.

Legal Representation

Lawyers play a crucial role in advocating for the legal rights and interests of juvenile offenders. They provide legal representation to juvenile clients during court proceedings, ensuring that their rights are protected and that they receive a fair trial. Lawyers may also negotiate plea bargains, seek alternative dispositions, or appeal decisions on behalf of juvenile offenders. The JJSA 2018 states that every juvenile offender or survivor of a crime shall have the right of legal assistance at the expense of the State. He/she must be informed his/her rights and must be provided legal assistance within 24 hours.

Social Welfare Departments

Social welfare departments provide a range of services to support juvenile offenders and their families. These services may include counselling, family support, education, vocational training, etc.

Juvenile Courts

Juvenile courts are specialised judicial bodies responsible for adjudicating cases involving juvenile offenders. The purpose of  establishing juvenile courts is to focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment and seek to address the underlying factors contributing to juvenile delinquency.

Interior Ministry/ Home Departments

The Interior Ministry at the federal level and provincial home departments play supervisory roles in overseeing the administration of justice, including matters related to juvenile justice. These government bodies formulate policies, regulations, and guidelines for the treatment and rehabilitation of juvenile offenders. They also allocate resources, monitor the performance of institutions, and coordinate efforts to improve the juvenile justice system.

Legal Aid and Justice Authority

Legal Aid and Justice Authority (LAJA) is an authority established to provide legal aid and assistance to individuals who are unable to afford legal representation or access to justice including children in conflict with law. It aims to ensure that all citizens, regardless of their financial status, have equal access to legal services and representation.

National and Sub-National Human Rights Institutions

The National Commission on the Rights of Child (NCRC), National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) and Sindh Human Rights Commission (SHRC) endowed with monitoring and oversight responsibilities,  are empowered to receive complaints, inquire into human rights violations, examine laws and policies, and advocate for the protection of children’s rights within the criminal justice system. Additionally, the NCHR holds the authority under the law to visit and monitor detention facilities, ensuring the humane treatment of juvenile offenders and promoting adherence to established legal and ethical standards.


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