What are Commissions for Protection of Child Rights?
The Commissions for Protection of Child Rights are established at the Central and State levels to ensure speedy trials of offenses against children or of violation of child rights.
Who forms the Commission?
The Commissions at the Central and State level comprise eminent society representatives (including the Chairperson) in the fields of education, child healthcare, welfare or 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 related to children.
What are the functions of the Commission?
The Commission is to:
(a) examine and review the safeguards provided by or under any child rights law in force and recommend measures for their effective implementation
(b) report on the working of existing safeguards towards child rights to the government
(c) inquire into violation of child rights and recommend initiation of proceedings in such cases to the appropriate authority
(d) examine all barriers faced by 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
(e) look into matters relating to children in need of special care and protection including children in distress, marginalized and disadvantaged children, children in conflict with law, juveniles, children without family and children of prisoners and recommend appropriate remedial measures
(f) 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 in the best interest of children
(g) undertake and promote research in the field of child rights
(h) spread child rights literacy and awareness among various sections of the society through publications, the media, seminars and other available means
(i) inspect or order inspection of any place of residence or institution or custody meant for children, under the control of the Central Government or any State Government or any other authority, including any institution run by a social organisation, where children are detained or lodged for the purpose of treatment, reformation or protection and take up with these authorities for remedial action, if found necessary
(j) inquire into complaints and take suo-motu action relating to:
(i) deprivation and violation of child rights
(ii) non-implementation of laws providing for protection and development of children
(iii) non-compliance of policy decisions, guidelines or instructions aimed at mitigating hardships to and ensuring welfare of the children and to provide relief to such children, or take up issues arising out of such matters with appropriate authorities; and
(k) other functions necessary for the promotion of child rights
What powers does the Commission have?
The Commission has powers of a civil court when hearing complaints – with respect to calling for witnesses to depose, or documents to examine. However, the Commission on its own cannot pass any binding orders as its role is mostly recommendatory:
(a) In case an inquiry discloses a criminal offense, the Commission can forward the complaint to magistrates with jurisdiction to take action.
(b) In case an inquiry discloses a violation of any other law which has a specific remedy, the Commission can forward the complaint to the appropriate authority.
(c) The Commission can also approach the Supreme Court or the High Court for such directions, orders or writs as that Court may deem necessary.
(d) Lastly, the Commission can recommend to the concerned government or authority to grant interim relief to the victim or their family as the Commission may consider necessary.
Have there been any successful interventions made by the Commission?
The Commission has been active in ensuring that children with disabilities avail benefits of free education under the RTE Act. They were being denied the same by several schools despite being notified to be within the Economically Weaker Section of the populace.
Upon the intervention of the Commission, a seven-year-old boy with cerebral palsy was tendered an apology by the school in which he was admitted for not being given certain free benefits.
You too can get in touch with the Commission in your state. The Commission for Protection of Child Rights in Delhi can be contacted here:
5th Floor, ISBT Building , Kashmere Gate, Delhi -110006
Phone No. 011-23862685/86
Fax No. 011-23864312