National Commission for Protection of Child Rights
Polity > Institutions/Bodies > Women and Child issues
WHY IN NEWS?
- Women and Child Development Minister recently launched the new motto of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR PROTECTION OF CHILD RIGHTS:
- The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is the apex body for upholding, monitoring and facilitating child rights in the country.
- It is a statutory body, set up in 2007 under the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005.
- It functions under the administrative control of the Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India.
- A person of eminence and has done outstanding work for promoting the welfare of children
- Six members:
- Out of which at least two are woman, from the following fields, is appointed by the Central Government from amongst person of eminence, ability, integrity, standing and experience in:
- Education, Child health, care, welfare or child development, Juvenile justice or care of neglected or marginalized children or children with disabilities, Elimination of child labour or children in distress, Child psychology or sociology; and Laws relating to children.
- To ensure that all Laws, Policies, Programmes, and Administrative Mechanisms are in consonance with the Child Rights perspective as enshrined in the Constitution of India and also the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- The Child is defined as a person in the 0 to 18 years age group.
MAJOR FUNCTIONS AND POWERS:
- Examine and review the safeguards for the protection of child rights and recommend measures for their effective implementation.
- Inquire into violation of child rights and recommend initiation of proceedings in such cases.
- Study treaties and other international instruments and undertake periodical review of existing policies, programmes and other activities on child rights and make recommendations for their effective implementation.
- Undertake and promote research in the field of child rights and compile and analyse data on children.
- Spread child rights literacy among various section of society through publications, the media, seminar and other available means and promote the incorporation of child rights into the school curriculum, training of teachers or personnel dealing with children.
- Inspect any juveniles custodial home, or places where children are detained or lodged for the purpose of treatment, reformation or protection, under the control of governments or other authorities and take up with these authorities for remedial action, if found necessary.
- Examine all factors that inhibit the enjoyment of rights of children affected by terrorism, communal violence, riots, natural disaster, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, trafficking, maltreatment, torture and exploitation, pornography and prostitution and recommend appropriate remedial measures.
- Look into the matters relating to the children in need of special care and protection including children in distress, marginalized and disadvantaged children, children in conflict with law, juvenile children without family and children of prisoners and recommend appropriate remedial measures.
- Inquire into complaints and take Suo motu notice of matter relating to violation of child rights, non-implementation of laws, non-compliance of policy decisions etc.
- Undertake formal investigation where concern has been expressed either by children themselves or by concerned person on their behalf.
- Present reports upon working of safeguards to the central government, annually and at such other intervals as the Commission may deem fit.
RESPONSIBILITIES UNDER OTHER ACTS:
- National and state commissions for Protection of Child Rights have been created to oversee the implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 in the country.
- Besides this, the commission also has responsibilities under two other acts:
- To monitor the implementation of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
- Examine and review the safeguards provided under Right to Information Act, 2005 and inquire into complaints relating to child's right to free and compulsory education.
MAJOR INITIATIVES BY THE COMMISSION:
- POCSO e-box:
- It is an online complaint management system enables easy reporting and timely action against the offenders under the POCSO Act, 2012.
- E-Box is very simple to operate and will help to maintain the confidentiality of the complaint.
- Parkisha Parv:
- A campaign for stress-free examinations.
- It provided a platform to students to talk about their concerns and interact with renowned counsellors and psychologists.
- 24x7 helpline 1098:
- For children in distress in operation through Childline India Foundation.
- Quick response cell
- For rescue of trafficked children or sexual abuse cases or stop instances of child marriage.
- Guidelines for Eliminating Corporal Punishment in Schools.
- It calls for schools to constitute special monitoring cells to take prompt action in cases of physical punishment or harassment of children.
- Standard Operating Procedures
- For the Care, Protection and Rehabilitation of Children in various conditions, such as children in conflict with law, sexually abused, Runaway etc.
- Handbook for Media Professionals and guidelines for certification bureaus
- To avoid portrayal of violation of child rights.
- Weak inspections:
- The safety and security of child care homes have been a matter of concern ever since sexual assaults were reported in child care institutions in Deoria in Uttar Pradesh and Muzaffarpur in Bihar in 2018.
- This arise due to the poor regulation of such institutions by the NCPCR.
- Political interference:
- It often seems to be deriving its priorities from the political agenda of the day and being a tool for the witch-hunt of non-governmental agencies critical of the government.
- Eg: In the Shaheen Bagh protests, the commission threatened action against the children of the women protesting there based on anonymous complaint.
- Deficit infrastructure:
- There is a severe lack of child care institutions (CCI) in India, particularly in the northeastern states. As a result, the number of children residing in these CCIs are in excess, which pose a potential risk to the rights and protection of these children.
- Inadequate funding:
- The commission is funded by grants from both central and state governments.
- However, this financial assistance provided to the Commission is very less to cater to its needs.
- No enforcement power:
- The body is only recommendatory and has no power to enforce its decisions. The body has often been reactive and arbitrarily taken up select issues and responded to them.
- Concerns over recent actions:
- For example: In 2020, the commission ordered immediate repatriation of children in child care institutions (CCIs) to their families.
- A mandated repatriation without an adequate case-by-case assessment plan within a short period of time would likely place the children again at grave risk of abuse, exploitation and neglect - as most children in CCIs ends up there due to abusive conditions in family
- The pandemic has exacerbated existing issues of child malnutrition, child labour, child abuse, child marriage and mental illness.
- This situation reiterates the need for strengthening all child-related institutions in the country.
- To cater to this need and to uphold its steadfast and fair commitment to the welfare of children, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights needs reforms.
Q. Elaborate the mandate and functions of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). Is the Commission able to strategize and tackle the problems that children face in cyberspace. Comment?