Child Rights :
Let us take a look at the basic rights that are guaranteed to children under the Indian Constitution.
- Right to free and compulsory elementary education for all children until they complete the age of 14 years (Article 21 A).
- Right of protection against employment in a factory or mine or any hazardous occupation till the age of 14 years (Article 24).
- Right of protection against being abused and forced by economic neccessity to enter occupations that are unsuited to their age or strength (Article 39(e)).
- Right to equal opportunities and facilities to grow in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity, and the guaranteed protection of childhood and youth against exploitation and moral and material abandonment (Article 39 (f)).
Child Rights- Violations :
Violations of children's rights are common throughout the country and they happen both from omission and commission, by individuals, families, societies and governments. The major types of violations against basic rights include:
- Right to Survival
- Female Infanticide
- Right to Development
- Denial of Education
- Right to Protection
- Child Abuse
- Child Sexual Abuse
- Child Trafficking
- Child Labour
Physical and Sexual Abuse :
A large number of victims of sexual abuse today are minors. What is more unfortunate and disturbing is that the perpetrators are, in most of the cases, people known to the victims. It is very important for parents and guardians to watch over their children carefully, and avoid trusting their care to strangers. Remember that it is difficult for children to comprehend abusive behaviour, or to know enough to resist if someone tries to take advantage of them. Teach your child to be aware of their surroundings, and means to protect themselves. If your child complaints about being teased or being made to feel uncomfortable by someone, take the complaint seriously; this holds even if the person in question is a close friend. Such an experience is very traumatic for the child, so be understanding, and help them cope with the trauma through love and care.
Here are some precautions that you can take to protect your child from abuse of any kind:
For Parents :
- Teach your child to remember the name, address and telephone number of their parents.
- Discourage them from making friends with strangers of accepting any gifts or eatables.
- Instill enough confidence in your child to talk to you freely, so that they can come to you without hesitation if they experience something suspicious or uncomfortable
- Teach them to recognize and seek help from policemen if they feel they need help. Encourage them to look at policemen as their friends, not people to be scared of
- Teach children simple ways of self-defence. It can be of great help in emergencies
- Do not allow children to open the door when somebody rings or knocks on the door
- If you notice any child being forced into labour, inform the voluntary organizations and the Police, to take custody of such children and to initiate necessary action
- If the parents of such children force them to go for work, counsel them and educate them regarding free education and regarding voluntary organizations who look after the welfare of such children
For Schools :
- Never release a child to anyone but the parents without speaking to the parents over the phone with the parent or guardian for approval.
- If a parent phones to ask for early release of a child, confirm the caller's identity. Call the parents back at their home number listed in the schools records.
- If the call is being made away from home, determine authenticity by questioning the caller on the details of the child.
- Make sure all visitors check in to the office and have staff watch for unknown persons in the building.
Things to Remember :
- No matter how young the child is teach him/her to remember the names of parents, emergency contact numbers and the house address. Always ensure that your child carries these details on his/her person while going to school, or going out alone, even if they use a school bus or trusted means of transport.
- Help them to recognise a police officer and identity them as people whom he/she can go for help when lost. Do not encourage them to be friendly with random strangers and people not known to them, but teach them to trust the people in uniform.
- Vide a notification in the official gazette dated October 10, 2006, the government has prohibited the employment of children less than 14 years of age as domestic help, or in restaurants and the entertainment industry. In case you know of someone who has employed a child illegally, please report to the nearest police station or Dial 100.
- Support child literacy. If you know of parents who do not send their children to avail the free and compulsory education, then encourage them to do so.
- Do not give alms, it only encourages the child trafficking mafia.
- Report families that physically abuse their children. Doctors remember that tests that determine the sex of the baby before birth is a punishable act, and should under no circumstances be encouraged.
But first and foremost, we need to recognize children are individuals with rights and unique needs. Without active intervention of the police and the civilians-parents, guardians and care takers, all efforts will become sporadic, and solutions that only covers up, but does not heal.
Only a recognition of children as individuals with rights can pave the way for future action. In the absence of this, all efforts will be sporadic, addressing only some symptoms and not the root cause of the problems that affect the children of this country.
Child Labour :
One of the major problems threatening the growth of the country is that of child labour. The government has been taking various proactive measures to deal with this socio-economic problem. The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986 lays down guidelines related to the employment of children in the industry. The Act prohibits the employment of children in certain hazardous occupations and processes. It also regulates the working conditions in other occupations.
The Act prohibits the employment of children in 13 occupations and 57 processes. A technical advisory committee is constituted under the Act, which gives advice on the inclusion of additional occupations and processes. The central and state governments are responsible for the enforcement of the provisions of the Act.
Child Adoption :
The following are the legislations related to the adoption/guardianship of children in India:
- Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act (1956) (http://punjabrevenue.nic.in/hadoptact(1).htm#Shorttitleandextent)
- The Guardians and Wards Act (1890) (http://wcd.nic.in/gawaact.htm)
- The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000 (http://wcd.nic.in/childprot/jjact2000.pdf)
- The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act 2006 (http://www.adoptionindia.nic.in/pdfs/jjactamedment.pdf)
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000 was a landmark Act as far as adoption is concerned as it marked the beginning of secular adoption
Child Welfare Committee (CWC)
Section 29 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000 provides for a Child Welfare Committee (CWC), which has the sole authority to declare a child in need of care and protection who is an orphan, abandoned or surrendered free for adoption. The functions and powers of the committee, its procedures, the production of the child before the committee, the procedure for inquiry, the procedure related to orphan and abandoned children and the procedure related to surrendered children is governed as laid down in the Juvenile Justice Amendment Act 2006 and its Rules.
What criteria should the child to be adopted satisfy?
- 1. In case of an abandoned child, if two members of the committee declare that the child is legally free for placement.
- 2. In case of a surrendered child, if the period of two months for reconsideration by the parents has lapsed.
- 3. In case of a child who can express his/her consent, if his/her consent is obtained in this regard.
Section 41 (5) of the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act 2000 states that a child shall be offered for adoption on the fulfilment of the following conditions:
To whom can a child be given in adoption?
- 1. Any person, irrespective of his/her marital status
- 2. Any person, irrespective of his/her having any number of biological children of the same sex
- 3. Childless Couples.
Section 41 (6) Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2000 states that the court is empowered by Section 41 of the Act to allow a child to be given in adoption to the following persons:
Which court entertains adoption matters?
Prior to the amendment of the Juvenile Justice Act in 2006, the Juvenile Justice Board was placed instead of the Court for allowing a child to be given for adoption. However, in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act of 2006, the legislature consciously amended the expression 'Board' and replaced it with the word 'Court'. Hence, in case of adoption under the Juvenile Justice Act, the petitions have to be filed under Section 41 of the Act before the Court.
Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA)
Set up in 1990, the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India, whose mandate is to find a loving and caring family for every orphan/destitute/surrendered child in the country.
CARA lists the following as its associated agencies in the state of Telangana for the adoption of children :
I. RIPAs(Recognised Indian Placement Agencies)
Women Development & Child Welfare Dept.
Govt of Telangana,
8-3-222,Behind Sarathi Studio,
II. SHISHU GREH's
Shishu Greh 8-3-222,Behind Sarathi Studio,
Anganwadis are government sponsored child-care and mother-care centers in India that were started by the Indian government in 1975 as part of the Integrated Child Development Services program, to combat child hunger and malnutrition. They cater to children in the age group of 0-6 years. An estimated 1.053 million Anganwadi centers employing 1.8 million mostly-female workers and helpers are run by the government across the country.
These homes are meant for girl orphans, semi-orphans, children of disabled parents and ex-servicemen. Children between the age of 6-10 years and in special cases, up to 12 years, are admitted. They are provided boarding, shelter, clothing and medical care till the 10th grade or 18 years of age, whichever is earlier.
In Shishuvihars, abandoned infants and orphans below the age of six years are admitted. The children of Shishuvihar are given for legal adoption to childless couples. There is one Sishuvihar in Telangana at Hyderabad.
The following are places where 'Swadhar' Homes are located for lodging and imparting skills to the VOCSETs.
SWADHAR HELP LINES OF NGO'S:
|S.No.||District||Name of the Organization|
|1||Rangareddy||Kastruba Gandhi National Memorial Trust, Mahila Seva and Vikasa kendra, Hydershakote, Vill Langerhouse, Hyderabad- 8. Ph: 040-27140986/27801668, Cell: 93910 112852|
|2||Rangareddy||Hyderabad City Women's Welfare Council, H.No. 7-140/2, S.S. Nagar, Street No. 8 Habsiguda, Ranga Reddy District.|
Child Welfare Police Officer:
As per the advisory issued by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) requires for appointment of a Child Welfare Police Officer (CWPO) in every police station to exclusively deal with children, either as victims or perpetrators.
At least one officer, not below the rank of an Assistant Sub-Inspector, must be designated as CWPO in every police station as per the Section 107(1) of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
A Special Juvenile Police Unit in each district and city headed by an officer not below the rank of a Deputy Superintendent of Police should be established. The unit would comprise CWPOs and two social workers having experience of working in the field of child welfare, of whom one shall be a woman, to co-ordinate all functions of police in relation to children. The contact particulars of the CWPOs should be displayed in all police stations for the public to contact.