Sierrending Sanneh, the chairperson of Kanifing Children's Court, on Wednesday addressed students from five different senior secondary schools in Banjul on juvenile delinquency.
Sanneh was making a presentation at a three-day training programme on juvenile delinquency and reproductive health, organised by the Organization for Vulnerable People (OVP) at Gambia Senior Secondary School, Banjul. Sanneh said some children are open to delinquency due to some parents' inadequate monitoring of their children; noting that some children become vagabonds due tolack of understanding between their parents or due to unsettled home.
From experience, she said,some children that become hooligans and commit crimes do learn and adopt it, saying that in any unsettled home where parents insult and fight each other, their children learn from them. This, she added, warrants some of them not to stay in the house but outside. She went on to point out that the more they frequently stay outside the more deliquent they become.
Among other things that cause juvenile delinquency, according to the Children's Court chairperson, are peer influence, idleness, lack of children's activities and lack of correction from bad behaviour. She explained that most of the juvenile delinquency cases reported come from provinces, and that the most common among them are stealing, raping and house breaking.
Madam Sanneh however commended women for their general concern and the motherly roles they play for their children."Most of the time when children have problems and charged to the children's court for crimes committed, it is only their mothers that accompany them while their fathers are often nowhere to be found, " she observed.
Accordingto her, parents have great impact and responsiblities to play in the lives of children. The Children's Court chairperson further noted that juvenile delinquency issue in the society is not the responsibility of only the judiciary and Social Welfare but that everyone in the society has role to play "because juvenile crime is on the high".
She therefore urged parents to be caring and supportive to their children; make themgo to school and learn "so that they will be able to achieve something meaningful in their lives".