India is home to almost 19% of the world’s children. More than one third of the country’s population, around 440 million, is below 18 years.
Constitution Provisions related to Child Rights:
Constitutional provisions that are meant specifically for the children in India include:
- The state can make special provision for the children (Article 15-3).
- Right to free and compulsory elementary education for all the children in the 6-14 year age group (Article 21 A).
- Right to be protected from any hazardous employment till the age of 14 years (Article 24).
- Right to be protected from being abused and forced by economic necessity to enter occupations unsuited to their (children) age or strength (Article 39(e)).
- Right to equal opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and guaranteed protection of childhood and youth against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment (Article 39 (0)).
- Right to early childhood care and education to all children until they complete the age of six years (Article 45).
Besides, children also have rights as citizens of India, just as any other adult male or female:
- Right to equality (Article 14).
- Right against discrimination (Article 15).
- Right to personal liberty and due process of law (Article 21).
- Right to be protected from being trafficked and forced into bonded labour (Article 23)
- Right of minorities for protection of their interests (Article 29).
- Right of weaker sections of the people to be protected from social injustice and all forms of exploitation (Article 46).
- Right to nutrition and standard of living and improved public health (Article 47).
Some of the International Conventions related to Child Rights:
- United Nations Convention on Rights of the Child, 1989.
- The ILO Convention No. 138 (Minimum age for admission to employment), 1973.
- Declaration on Rights of the Child, 1924 (by League of Nations) and 1959 (UN).
- UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (The Beijing Rules), 1985.
Organisations for protection of Child Rights:
Rajasthan State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (RSCPCR)
The Rajasthan State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (RSCPCR) was set up to protect, promote and defend child rights in the State. It started functioning in February 2010 as a statutory body under the Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005 (Central Act 4 of 2006) [CPCR Act] and the Rajasthan State Commission for Protection of Child Rights Rules, 2010.
- The RSCPCR consists of a Chairperson and six other members appointed by the State Government.
- Out of six members two shall be women.
- The Members are appointed from amongst persons of eminence, ability, integrity, standing and experience in:
- i) education;
- ii) child health, care, welfare or child development;
- iii) juvenile justice or care of neglected or marginalised children or children with disabilities;
- iv) elimination of child labour or children in distress;
- v) child psychology or sociology; and
- vi) laws relating to children.
Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA)
CARA is an Autonomous Body under the Ministry of Women and Child Development to promote in-country adoption and regulate inter-country adoption. CARA also helps both Indian and foreign agencies involved in adoption of Indian children to function within a regulated framework, so that such children are adopted legally through recognized agencies and no exploitation takes place.
Policies, Acts & Rules Related to Child Rights:
- The Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005
- The Commissions For Protection of Child Rights Amendment Act, 2006
- The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006
- THE JUVENILE JUSTICE (CARE AND PROTECTION OF CHILDREN) ACT, 2015
- The Rajasthan Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2011