Prelims Level
Mains Level
Prelims Syllabus : Governance- schemes Mains Syllabus : GS-II Mechanisms, laws, Institutions and bodies constituted for the Protection and Betterment of These Vulnerable Sections.

Why in News?

  • In the backdrop of protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, a number of minor under the age of 18 have been detained by the law enforcement authorities.
  • This has invigorated the debate around child rights especially of those children who are in conflict with the law.

Legislative Framework in India regarding Child Rights (Children in conflict with law):

1.Juvenile Justice Act:

  • Section 10 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 provides for a Special juvenile police unitor the designated child welfare police officer.
  • A child is found to be in conflict with law he/she shall be placed under the charge of this officer who shall produce that child before the Juvenile Justice Board within a period of 24 hours.
  • Thus the Juvenile Justice Act prohibits the detention of a child in police custody.

2.U.N Convention on Rights of Child

  • The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989 (CRC), is a comprehensive document containing a set of universal legal standards or norms for the protection and well-being of children
  • As per this document, they have a right to be protected from certain acts, such as torture, exploitation, abuse, arbitrary detention and unwarranted removal from parental care, and children.
  • India ratified this convention in 1992 and enacted various laws in conformity of this convention for the protection of children.
  • So, in accordance with that convention, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) a statutory body was set up under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005.
  • It is entrusted with the responsibility to protect, promote and defend child rights in India.
  • The commission works under the aegis of the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

NCPCR Guidelines:

  • The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights guidelines on children’s rights in areas of civil unrest provide that law enforcement authorities should avoid blanket characterization of adolescent boys as security threats.
  • Besides the guideline also direct the authorities to take the cases of arbitrary detention, mistreatment, or torture of children extremely seriously and investigate the violations and take appropriate action against personnel involved.
  • In the context of the CAA protests, the NCPCR had highlighted that children were being used by certain groups of protesters were in unlawful activities such as stone-pelting which violates their rights under Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015
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