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Children in Conflict of with the Law The term children in conflict with the law refers to anyone under

18 who comes int o contact with the justice system as a result of being suspected or accused of c ommitting an offence. Most children in conflict with the law have committed pett y crimes or such minor offences as vagrancy, truancy, begging or alcohol use. So me of these are known as status offences and are not considered criminal when comm itted by adults. In addition, some children who engage in criminal behaviour hav e been used or coerced by adults. Too often, prejudice related to race, ethnicit y or social and economic status may bring a child into conflict with the law eve n when no crime has been committed, or result in harsh treatment by law enforcem ent officials.