Child Welfare

Demographic situation of children in India
Children constitute principle assets of any country. Children’s Development is as important as the development of material resources and the best way to develop national human resources is to take care of children. India has the largest child population in the world. All out efforts are being made by India for the development and welfare of children. Significant progress has been made in many fields in assuring children their basic rights. However, much remains to be done. The country renews its commitment and determination to give the highest priority to the basic needs and rights of all children. Children are most vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. A lot more has to be done for the health, nutrition and education of children. It is unfortunate that girls in particular face debilitating discrimination at all stages. Therefore, specific concentration is being given to the efforts to improve the life and opportunities of the Girl Child.

Constitutional Provisions
There are several constitutional provisions for children. These include the following :

• Article 14 provides that the State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the
equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.

• Article 15(3) provides that, “Nothing in this article shall prevent the State for making any
special provision for women and children.”

•Article 21 provide that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according
to procedure established by law.

•Article 21A directs the State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the
age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine.

•Article 23 prohibits trafficking of human beings and forced labour. • Article 24 prohibits employment of children below the age of fourteen years in factories, mines
or any other hazardous occupation.

•Article 25-28 provides freedom of conscience, and free profession, practice and propagation of
religion.

•Article 39(e) and (f) provide that the State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards
securing to ensure that the health and strength of workers, men and women and the tender age of children are not abused and that the citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength and that the children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that the childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material

abandonment.The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities. Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act.The Pre-Conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Technique(Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act. supported by Government of India. 9.The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act. 1992. 5. Supply and Distribution) Act.The Infant Milk Substitutes. 2. 6.The Guardian and Wards Act. . 4. 1956. RECENT INITIATIVES The Commissions for Protection of the Child Rights Act 2005 was enacted by The Government of India recently. 1994.The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act. 2000. 1890. It initiates preparatory activity that precedes the initiation of Childline service in any city. The Chairperson shall be a person of eminence in the field of child development. •Article 45 envisages that the State shall endeavor to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years. 8. It has prescribed minimum quality standards for the services to be provided by its partner organizations that are implementing Childline programmes in various cities of the country.The Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act. 7. 1956.The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act. The members shall be the experts in the field of child health. 3. 1929.The Act envisages setting up a National Commission at the National level and the State Commissions at the State level. 2005 Childline India Foundation (CIF) It has been set up as a nodal organization. including two women members. to monitor and ensure the qualitative development of the Childline service across the country. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights is a statutory body which is set up under the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act. Childline is a toll free telephone service(1098) which anyone can call for assistance in the interest of children. 1986. 10. a Member Secretary and other supporting staff. Legislations There are several Legislations pertaining to children. CIF is also involved in awareness and advocacy in order to strengthen the efforts relating to child welfare. The Commission consists of a Chairperson and six other Members. These include the following: 1. Feeding Bottles and Infant Foods (Regulation of Production. The Commission is set up for proper enforcement of children’s rights and effective implementation of laws and programmes relating to children. 1995. The Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act. The Child Marriage Restraint Act.

•Examine all factors that inhibit the enjoyment of rights of most vulnerable children and children in need of special care and protection •Study treaties and other international instruments and undertake periodical review of existing policies. Functions of the Commissions • Examine and review the safeguards provided by Constitution or any law for the protection of child rights and recommend measures for their effective implementation •Present to the Central Government. child care and development. ii. requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office. receiving evidence on affidavits. and Such other functions as it may consider necessary for the promotion of child rights. or take up the issues arising out of such matters with appropriate authorities. Powers of the Commission 1. elimination of child labour.summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath. child psychology or sociology and laws relating to children. 2. requiring the discovery and production of any document.deprivation of child’s rights. children with disabilities. reformation or protection and take up with these authorities for remedial action • inquire into complaints and take suo motu notice of matters relating to : i. The Commission isset up for proper enforcement of children’s rights and effective implementation of laws and programmes relating to children. 4. programmes and other activities on child rights and make recommendation for their effective implementation in the best interest of children •Undertake and promote research in the field of child rights •Spread child rights literacy among various sections of the society and promote awareness • inspect any juvenile custodial home. guidelines or and to provide relief to such children. 3. juvenile justice. The officers and the staff of the Commission shall be provided by the Central Government.education. and . annually reports upon the working of those safeguards. non-compliance of policy decisions. iii. non-implementation of laws for protection and development of children. or any other place of residence or institution meant for children for the purpose of treatment.

recommending to the concerned Government or authority for the grant of such interim relief to the victim or the members of his family as the Commission consider necessary. 6. approaching the Supreme Court or the High Court concerned for such directions. · · · .issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses and documents. 9.forwarding any case to a Magistrate having jurisdiction to try the same and the Magistrate to whom any such case is forwarded shall proceed to hear the complaint against the accused 7. orders or writs as that Court may deem necessary. · · · · · .recommending to the concerned Government or authority the initiation of proceedings for prosecution or such other action as deem fit against the concerned person/s 8.5.