In eight divisional cities and three district towns 15 child friendly courts would be opened by December.
On September 19, Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain is due to inaugurate two child friendly courts in Sylhet, one in the metropolitan sessions judges’ court and the other in the court of the district and sessions judge.
Appellate Division judge and chairman of the Special Committee for Child Rights in the Supreme Court Justice Muhammad Imman Ali would preside over the inauguration ceremonies to be jointly organized by UNICEP, Bangladesh and the Special Committee.
In August, the Chief Justice inaugurated two child friendly courts one with jurisdiction over the capital and the other with jurisdiction across the Dhaka district.
By December 11 more child-friendly courts are scheduled to be inaugurated in the divisional cities of Chittagong, Rajshahi, Khulna, Barisal, Rangpur and Mymensingh and in the district towns of Cox’s Bazaar, Jessore and Magura, High Court Division’s Special Officer Mohammad Saifur Rahman told New Age.
Child friendly courts would be opened in the remaining district towns by 2019, Saifur Rahman said quoting a memorandum of understanding signed between the Supreme Court and the UNICEF.
The Children Act 2013 provides for opening the child friendly courts across the country, he said.
The law requires the judges to hold accused children’s trials in simple courtrooms with no docks, witness boxes and red cloth barriers to separate these areas from judges’ dais.
The law requires decorating child friendly courtrooms with toys.
It also requires keeping waiting rooms and wash rooms for children in these courts.
The law debars on duty police personnel and probation officers of the Social Welfare Department from entering these courts in uniforms.
In August Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain expressed annoyance against 75 judges of 69 juvenile courts across the country for keeping 21,503 cases pending.
And the Chief Justice expressed dissatisfaction over keeping 614 cases pending for more than five years.
The Chief Justice found the juvenile courts run in normal courtrooms as not at all child friendly.
The Chief Justice expressed his annoyance while inaugurating Digital Dashboard for the child friendly courts and training the judges with the use of the dashboards at the Supreme Court auditorium.