National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)
- National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is a statutory body under the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005 under the administrative control of the Ministry of Women & Child Development ,Government of India.
- The Commission’s Mandate is 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.
- The Commission visualizes a rights-based perspective flowing into National Policies and Programmes, along with nuanced responses at the State, District and Block levels, taking care of specificity and strengths of each region.
- In order to touch every child, it seeks a deeper penetration to communities and households and expects that the ground experiences gathered at the field are taken into consideration by all the authorities at the higher level.
Why in the news?
- Some of the recent actions of the Commission suggest a grave departure from its primary duty to ensure the well-being of all children, especially children in need of care and protection.
- There exists sheer inadequacy of current systems to organise adoption and foster care.
- For instance, NCPCR has been specifically charged with the monitoring of Child Care Institutions (CCIs) and a social audit was initiated in 2015 as instructed by Supreme Court and upon its completion, the NCPCR directed District Magistrates in eight States to ensure that all children within CCIs be de-institutionalised, repatriated and rehabilitated within a specified period.
- But most of these children are in CCIs due to abusive conditions in the family, and 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.
- NCPCR in select NGO-run CCIs has conducted raids in order to establish whether foreign funds have been misused in any manner while monitoring of the FCRA regulations is outside of the mandate of the NCPCR
- The pandemic has exacerbated existing issues of child malnutrition, child labour, child abuse, child marriage and mental illness. Eg. rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Bhadohi in Uttar Pradesh and daily reports of Dalit children and young women being raped and murdered.
- NCPCR should show concern for the gross violation of children’s rights during the lockdown and in its aftermath.
- The NCPCR should use its authority and power to issue recommendations to relieve these grave conditions by reiterating the need for strengthening all child-related institutions (government and non-government) through adequate funds, and appreciating the relief measures that many civil society organisations take.
- The Commission should ensure the support that would necessarily be required to implement the most needed reforms for child care institutions.
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