Curfew

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A curfew can be one of the following:

  1. An order by the government for certain persons to return home daily before a certain time. It can either be to maintain public order (such as those after the 2003 North America blackout and 2005 civil unrest in France), or to suppress targeted groups (such as the one Adolf Hitler enacted on Jewish people in Nazi Germany). Curfews have long been directed at certain groups in many cities or states, such as Japanese-American university students on the West Coast during World War II, African-Americans in many towns during the time of Jim Crow laws, or people younger than a certain age (usually within a few years either side of 18) in many towns of the U.S. since the 1980s; see below. Some jurisdictions have also introduced "daytime curfews" that would prevent high school-age youth from visiting public places during school hours or even during immediate after-school hours.
  2. An order by the legal guardians of a minor to return home before a specific time, usually in the evening or night. This may apply daily, or is separate per occasion (especially concerning dating), or varies with the day of the week (earlier on a so-called school night, i.e., if the minor has to go to school the next day).
  3. A daily requirement for guests to return to their hostel before a specified time, usually in the evening or night. Arriving later has the consequence of being locked out until the morning. It allows the hostel to dispense with a doorman during the night, and improves quietness at night. Another way to dispense with a doorman, without curfew, is supplying a key to each guest, to take with them.
  4. In baseball, a time after which a game must end, or play be suspended. For example, in the American League the curfew rule for many years decreed that no inning could begin after 1 A.M. local time.
  5. Many airports operate with rules that during certain times, the airport will be effectively closed, to facilitate noise restrictions in areas under the airports flight paths. Examples include LaGuardia Airport in New York City, and Kingsford Smith International Airport in Sydney, Australia. The practice is commonly known as an Operating Curfew, or Movement Restriction.

The U.S.A. has its own curfew laws. These laws are deemed unfair by most of Americas youth.

The word comes from Anglo-Norman via Middle English, originally an instruction to cover and damp down the fires before retiring, "couvre feu": a very necessary precaution when cities were filled with wooden houses having thatched roofs.

[edit] Youth curfews

Youth curfews are "orders" from the government preventing children or teenagers from being in public spaces after a certain time. While in theory curfews are supposed to prevent juvenile crime from happening, teen curfews remain a controversial topic.

Some teenagers, like some adults, engage in illegal activities at night time. Advocates of curfews believe that forbidding teens to be out late at night will reduce teenage crime as well as prevent others from being victims. While proponents of curfews feel this may be unfair to well-behaved teens, they feel that this is outweighed by communities' responsibility to protect all of their citizens.

In addition to the obvious constitutional issues raised by youth curfews, opponents say that they are ineffective, as statistics show that most juvenile crimes occur between 3pm and 6pm (at the end of the school day), and many teenagers have little to do then but loiter. Some advocates against curfews believe that schools should increase investment in extracurricular activities to prevent loitering in the first place. Some also feel the implementation of curfew laws would cause an added burden on parents who may not be free all the time to take care and watch over their children.

Teen curfew laws in the UK have been the subject of a successful legal challenge on human rights grounds. Zones had been created under the 2003 Anti-Social Behaviour Act allowing police to hold and escort home unaccompanied under-16s after 9pm, whether badly behaved or not. Although hailed a success [1], The High Court ruled in one particular case that the law did not give the police a power of arrest, and officers could not force someone to come with them. The ruling is being appealed by The Home Office. [2].

Singapore has also imposed a curfew of 11pm on teenagers or children below 17 years of age. Those caught receive a warning and their parents will also receive a letter. The move, which was made in 2006, was imposed to curb teenage crimes.

[edit] External links

fa:حکومت نظامی fr:Couvre-feu id:Jam malam he:עוצר nl:Spertijd sh:Policijski sat zh:宵禁

Curfew

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