Juvenile Justice Alliance, India

Background

Under the leadership of DB YaR Forum, Juvenile Justice National Conventions held in Vijayawada and Hyderabad in 2008, articulated the need to be in regular communication with one another to share information, experiences and resources and evolve not only into an effective juvenile justice knowledge community but also a broad, proactive national alliance to influence policies and practices.

“Juvenile Justice National Desk (JJND)” was the actualization of that expressed need. The national consultation held in Hyderabad, mandated Navajeevan, Vijayawada to initiate and facilitate JJND.

JJND was established in January 2009 with a team of 4 program and administrative staff, based at Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh.

Communities of Practice

A key concept of JJND was “Communities of Practice”

Communities of Practice (CoPs) are people who engage in a process of collective learning in a shared domain of human venture. They are groups of people, organizations or institutions, who share a common concern or collective passion, do something about it and learn to do it better as they interact and act in solidarity.

Members of a CoP are connected to each other and together they are committed to the community’s mission, goals, and objectives. They put their skills and knowledge at the service of common action. In a Community of Practice, members package their experience, knowledge, and insights into practical tools and resources that can be used by other members of the community and shared even more widely.

The role of JJND essentially was that of inspiring and facilitating local players in juvenile justice sphere to get connected as CoPs and linking them within states and across the country in a voluntary, egalitarian alliance for Juvenile Justice, Child Protection and Child Rights Advocacy.


Juvenile Justice National Desk: 2009-2011

During 2009-2011 JJND established contacts with several hundred JJ activists and practitioners across the country and communicated with them, mainly through email. Communities of Practice were formed in the states of Orissa, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. A website was developed and launched. The JJND Circular, focusing on specific JJ issues and topics was mailed to partners and members at fortnightly intervals. JJND organized a number of state level workshops on JJ themes and issues. State Juvenile Justice Desks, conceived as the structural and functional form of CoPs were initiated in Orissa, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. In partnership with other national organizations, JJND participated in several key campaigns of the period, including the Right to Information.

For various reasons, JJND activities and energy waned significantly after 2011 and eventually were discontinued.

Juvenile Justice Alliance – India

The renewed experience of the need for united voice and concerted action in child rights sector and in the context of the decision of DB YaR Forum to engage as partners with all players and stakeholders across the country towards “building” child-friendly cities across India, it was thought opportune to re-activate the JJND.

Juvenile Justice Alliance – India (JJAI) is the new edition of JJND.

Strategy

Juvenile Justice Alliance India would carry forward and build on the efforts, experiences and insights of JJND.

The basic building blocks would be the Juvenile Justice Communities of Practice, who would link up district, state and region wise, to form a broad-based, multi-skilled, egalitarian national alliance advocating for the Young at Risk. The alliance would connect at various state and regional levels with other networks, forums and campaigns in Juvenile Justice and related fields.

The alliance would be structured initially with a National Desk, and gradually with two Regional Desks.

The outcome envisaged is a powerful, competent, voice that successfully advocates and lobbies for the rights of the child in the country.

The JJA National Desk has been operational since June 2017 and currently works from the national office of DB YaR Forum at Delhi. Contacts are being renewed and re-established, in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the first phase.

You can contact the JJA National Desk at jja@dbyarforum.org