Zainab al Nassri –
Muscat, July 29 –
A total of 86 cases of juvenile delinquency have been reported between January 1 and end of March across the Sultanate this year, the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD) has said.
Of these, males accounted for 94.2 per cent. The Governorate of Muscat has reported the most number of cases.
A total of 384 cases were registered last year, with the Governorate of North Al Batinah leading with 74.
Hawra al Mowsawi, a psychiatrist at Juvenile Guidance House, defines juvenile as any male/female between nine and 18 years of age who has committed an act punishable by law.
“Juvenile delinquents are those who show bad behaviour, run away from home, school or education/ training institute or don’t have a legitimate means of living or a reliable guardian,” she said.
Law provides for a free stay for the juvenile for a certain period decided by the court. Al Mowsawi said this period “depends on the juvenile’s readiness to join the society again”.
“Some parents apply for their children to leave (juvenile) house before the end of the specific period, but we try to convince them against it. If they insist, they will be asked to go to the court, the supreme authority, which will take a decision based on the report prepared by the house specialists.”
On reasons behind juvenile delinquency, she said: “We should realise that we are raising our children in a different time than ours. We must balance between wisdom and love, and create channels for a meaningful dialogue with them.”
Al Mowsawi said parents need to remain closer to their children and try to understand their problems.
“Families should establish clear rules when it comes to the use of technology, and instil in them the values and principles of Islamic tolerance that create psychological security and self-control,” she added.