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National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)

Topics Covered: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR):


Why in News?

The Supreme Court has sought a response from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to its request to eight States to “produce” children living in care homes before the local child welfare committees for their “immediate repatriation” with their families.

  • The court is suo motu monitoring the welfare of children placed in care homes during the pandemic.

What’s the issue?

The NCPCR reportedly wrote to Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Mizoram, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Meghalaya in this regard.

  • These States together have 1.84 lakh children in care homes. This accounts for over 70% of the children in care homes.
  • The NCPCR explained the need for a child to grow up in a familial environment.

What has the Court asked now?

  • The Court asked the NCPCR to respond why such repatriation of the children to their families should not be done on an individual basis.
  • The court also wondered whether the NCPCR could issue such general directions to the States without considering the education, health, safety of the children, the consent of their parents and their economical situation.

About NCPCR:

Set up in March 2007 under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005.

It works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Women & Child Development.

Definition: The Child is defined as a person in the 0 to 18 years age group.

  • 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.

Under the RTE Act, 2009, the NCPCR can:

  • inquire into complaints about violation of the law.
  • summon an individual and demand evidence.
  • seek a magisterial enquiry.
  • file a writ petition in the High Court or Supreme Court.
  • approach the government concerned for prosecution of the offender.
  • recommend interim relief to those affected.

Composition:

This commission has a chairperson and six members of which at least two should be women.

  • All of them are appointed by Central Government for three years.
  • The maximum age to serve in commission is 65 years for Chairman and 60 years for members.

About Child Welfare Committees:

As per the Section 27(1) of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (JJ Act), Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) are to be constituted by State Government for every district, for exercising the powers and to discharge the duties conferred on such Committees in relation to children in need of care and protection under JJ Act, 2015.

Composition of the committees:

The Committee shall consist of a Chairperson, and four other members as the State Government may think fit to appoint, of whom atleast one shall be a woman and another, an expert on the matters concerning children.

Eligibility conditions:

Chairperson and the members shall be above the age of thirty-five years and shall have a minimum of seven years of experience of working with children in the field of education, health, or welfare activities, or should be a practicing professional with a degree in child psychology or psychiatry or social work or sociology or human development or in the field of law or a retired judicial officer.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. NCPCR- composition and functions.
  2. Powers of NCPCR under RTE Act.
  3. Highlights of RTE Act.
  4. Children covered under RTE.
  5. CWC- formation and composition.

composition

Sources: the Hindu.