The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is a statutory body established in 2007 under an act of Parliament, the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005. In this article, you can read all about the NCPCR, its functions and importance in relation to child rights in the country. This is a part of the social justice and also polity sections of the IAS syllabus.
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.
- A child is defined as any person between the ages of 0 and 18 years.
- The Commission acknowledges the universality and inviolability of child rights.
- It focuses on children that form a part of the most vulnerable sections of society.
- The Commission sees every right of the child as equally important and hence, does not grade the rights according to importance.
The NCPCR has been constituted by the Government as an act of Parliament as mentioned above. Hence, it is a statutory organisation. It consists of the following members:
- Chairperson – Person of eminence and who has an exemplary record of work in child welfare.
- Six members:
- A minimum of two women members.
- Should have experience in the following fields:
- 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
- Laws relating to children
The Act that constituted the NCPCR laid down its functions and mandates, which are enumerated below:
- Assess and review the safeguards that are provided for child rights protection in India under existing laws and also suggest measures for implementing them effectively.
- Present reports on the workings of the laws in this domain to the central government as and when necessary.
- Inquire cases of child rights violations and initiate proceedings.
- Study the factors that prevent the enjoyment of rights of children impacted by terrorism, riots, natural calamities, communal violence, trafficking, HIV/AIDS, torture and exploitation, maltreatment, prostitution and pornography, and suggest remedial measures for them.
- Enquire into the needs of children requiring special care and protection such as disadvantaged and marginalised children, children in conflict with the law, children of prisoners and children without families, and also recommend remedial measures thereof.
- Review current policies with respect to children’s rights and protection by studying treaties and international instruments and suggest changes as needed.
- Conduct research in the field of child rights.
- Advocate child rights and promote/disseminate the idea through mass campaigns, seminars, etc.
- Undertake investigation into specific complaints received from children or anyone else on their behalf.
- Encourage the incorporation of child rights in school curriculums and train teachers in that respect.
The Commission is also mandated with responsibilities under two other acts, namely:
- Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012
- Right to Education Act, 2009
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