Commission for Protection of Child Rights
This statutory body at the National and State level has been proposed to be set up under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act 2005. India has ratified the United Nations Child Rights Convention in the year 1992 and this Act was passed as one of the necessary steps to protect the rights of the children in the country.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights was constituted this year and is chaired by Dr.Shantha Sinha, a highly dedicated child rights activist. The Commission has been taking up various issues which were brought forth recently in the area of child abuse.
The functions and powers of the National Commission is to:
- Examine and review the legal safeguards provided by or under any law for the protection of child rights and recommend measures for their effective implementation
- Prepare and present annual and periodic reports upon the working of these safeguards
- Inquire into violation of child rights and recommend initiation of proceedings in such cases
- Undertake periodic review of policies, programmes and other activities related to child rights in reference to the treaties and other international instruments
- Spread awareness about child rights among various sections of society
- Examine and recommend appropriate remedial measures for all factors that inhibit the enjoyment of rights of children affected by terrorism, communal violence/riots, natural disaster, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, trafficking, maltreatment, torture and exploitation, pornography and prostitution
- Undertake and promote research in the field of child rights
- Inspect institutions meant for juvenile/children
- Inquire into complaints of deprivation and violation of child rights, non-implementation of laws and non-compliance policy decisions, guidelines or instructions
- Undertake other necessary functions for the promotion of child rights. The Commission has the power of a civil court and all criminal cases brought to the same has to be forwarded to a concerned Magistrate who has jurisdiction to try the same.
The National/State Commission consists of seven members including a Chairperson and six members, of which at least two need to be women. The Act provides for Children’s Courts for speedy trial of offences against children or of violation of Child Rights.
The Act empowers the State Government to notify at least a court in the State or a Court of Sessions in each district as a Children’s Court, with concurrence of the Chief Justice of the concerned High Court. For every Children’s Court, the State Government is required to appoint a Public Prosecutor or appoint an advocate who has been in practice for not less than seven years as the Special Public Prosecutor.