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Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act 2015

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act, 2015:


Context:

Social media posts appealing for adoption of children orphaned during COVID-19 are illegal, warn experts.

  • Activists warn that such posts are illegal under Section 80 and 81 of the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act, 2015, which prohibit offering or receiving children outside the processes laid down under the Act as well as their sale and purchase.
  • Such acts are punishable with three to five years in jail or ₹1 lakh in fine.

What is the procedure to be followed with children who have been orphaned?

  • If someone has information about a child in need of care, then they must contact one of the four agencies: Childline 1098, or the district Child Welfare Committee (CWC), District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) or the helpline of the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
  • Following this, the CWC will assess the child and place him or her in the immediate care of a Specialised Adoption Agency.
  • When there is a child without a family, the State becomes the guardian.

Other childcare options available:

Adoption is only one of the options, it is not the only option. Such children will have uncles or aunts who can look after them. Children may desire contact with their own family and to remain within the same heritage. In such circumstances it is very important to guard the rights of the children involved.

Need of the hour:

This is the time to focus on kinship care. The Ministry of Women and Child Development and all concerned State departments should immediately roll out a kinship care programme and make it part of foster care provisions under the JJ Act.

About JJ Act:

  • Aim: To Comprehensively address children in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection.
  • It mandates setting up Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees in every district. Both must have at least one-woman member each.
  • Also, the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) was granted the status of a statutory body to enable it to perform its function more effectively.
  • The Act included several new offences committed against children (like, illegal adoptions, use of child by militant groups, offences against disabled children, etc) which are not adequately covered under any other law.
  • All Child Care Institutions, whether run by State Government or by voluntary or non-governmental organisations are to be mandatorily registered under the Act within 6 months from the date of commencement of the Act.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Key Provisions.
  2. About CARA.
  3. Registration of Childcare institutions as per the Act.
  4. Latest amendments proposed.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the law.

Sources: the Hindu.