Child Protection In India [UPSC Notes for GS I]

This article will describe the condition of child protection measures in India.

These UPSC Notes on child protection in India and related issues are aligned with the UPSC Syllabus and aspirants should prepare this topic for General Studies Paper I.

Children face several issues like child labour, trafficking, molestation, etc. in India. There are several laws exclusively to deal with these. Such issues are frequently seen in the news; hence the topic is relevant for the UPSC Mains.

IAS Exam aspirants can find more notes for UPSC Mains General Studies topics from the links given at the end of the article.

Child Protection In India

Context

  • Recently, the Supreme Court has drawn the attention of the government to the problem of child pornography. 
  • In case of tragedies like the Surat Fire, a lot of victims were children. 

Background

  • UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child states that the State shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that the child is protected from all forms of punishment or discrimination on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions, or beliefs of the child’s parents, legal guardians, or family members. 
  • However, child labor, malnutrition, stunting, etc are still affecting a large population of Indian children. 
  • As per the Women and Child Development Ministry, 242,938 children disappeared between 2012 and 2017. But according to Track Child, a government database, nearly 237,040 went missing between 2012 and 2014 alone. 
  • There is a lack of credible data available for missing children. 
  • Children are still working long hours performing hazardous and exhausting jobs for menial wages. 

Aspirants can refer to the UPSC Mains Syllabus at the linked article.

Existing Provisions

  • In order to address the problem of child trafficking, Supreme Court recently ordered that In case of every missing child reported; there will be an initial presumption of either abduction or trafficking, unless, in the investigation, the same is proved otherwise and an appropriate FIR has to be registered. 
  • Legal measures to protect the right of the child are – Juvenile Justice Act, Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act (ITPA), 1956 , Pre-Conception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994, Article -21 A: The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age 6 – 14years, Article-45, Article-39(f), Article-243 G.
    • Juvenile Justice Act – The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2018 had been introduced in the Lok Sabha. Its aim is towards the amendment of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. Read in detail about Juvenile Justice Act on the given link.
    • Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act – The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act or ITPA is a 1986 amendment of legislation passed in 1956 as a result of the signing by India of the United Nations’ declaration in 1950 in New York on the suppression of trafficking. The act, then called the All India Suppression of Immoral Traffic Act (SITA), was amended to the current law. The laws were intended as a means of limiting and eventually abolishing prostitution in India by gradually criminalizing various aspects of sex work. Further details on the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act on the linked page.
    • Pre-Conception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Act – The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act of 1994 has banned pre-natal sex-determination. very genetic counselling centre, genetic laboratory or genetic clinic engaged in counselling or conducting pre-natal diagnostics techniques, like in vitro fertilisation (IVF) with the potential of sex selection (Preimplantation genetic diagnosis) before and after conception comes under the preview of the PCPNDT Act and are banned. The main objective of the act is the arrest of the declining sex-ratio in India due to rampant female foeticide. Read more about Pre-Conception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Act on the linked page.
  • National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) are institutional support available to protect and promote the rights of children. 
What is the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)?

The NCPCR is a body that works towards achieving a child rights-centric approach in all the laws, programmes, policies and administrative mechanisms in India. It functions under the Ministry of Women & Child Development of the central government.

  • It strives to ensure that all laws and policies in the country are in consonance with the rights of children as emphasised by the Indian Constitution as well as with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

Aspirants can find detailed information on the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on the given link.

Way Forward

  • Government has to ensure that credible data is available at all levels about missing, illiterate, and malnourished children. 
  • Special budgetary provisions have to be made for the promotion of child rights.
  • Hostels and care homes have to be built to accommodate rescued children. 
  • Awareness about child labour and strict enforcement is the need of the hour. 
  • Our effort must be to ensure that every child reaches his/her full potential free from any and all forms of exploitation and abuse.

Child Protection In India (UPSC Notes – GS 1) Download PDF Here

Aspirants can check BYJU’S UPSC Notes page for free GS1, GS2, and GS 3 notes.

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