Child Protection Laws and Policies

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child labour work

 

This article has been written by Tanya Singh, 1st year student of Amity  University, Chhattisgarh.

Cild is considered as an important asset of a nation as the future of any nation depends on how its children  are mature and develop. In the present times protection of children from all kinds of exploitation and abuses has become the main objective of our society. Child protection is regarded as one of the main responsibility of the government as well as the society and considering the challenges and problems faced by the children. Child protection refers to the  protection of children from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect. There have been many instances of child exploitation in the form of sexual molestation, child marriage, underfeeding, verbal abuse, child battering, child prostitution, child pornography and child labour which indirectly highlights our society’s own failure to protect our future generations. Children have the right to be protected from all exploitative and vulnerable situations.

UNICEF defines a ‘child protection system’ as: the set of laws, policies, regulations and services needed across all social sectors – especially social welfare, education, health, security and justice – to support prevention and response to protection related risks. These systems are part of social protection, and extend beyond it. At the level of prevention, their aim includes supporting and strengthening families to reduce social exclusion, and to lower the risk of separation, violence and exploitation. Responsibilities are often spread across government agencies, with services delivered by local authorities, non-State providers, and community groups, making coordination between sectors and levels, including routine referral systems etc.., a necessary component of effective child protection systems.

— United Nations Economic and Social Council (2008), UNICEF Child Protection Strategy, E/ICEF/2008/5/Rev.1, par.

Major issues in India related to child:

  • Poverty
  • Child marriage
  • Child labour
  • Malnutrition
  • Girl child, etc.

Constitutional Provisions Relating to Children:

The framers of our Constitution were well known of the fact the development of the nation can be achieved by the development of the children of the nation & it is necessary to protect the children from exploitation as well.

The following are the provisions of the Indian Constitution relating to children:

Constitutional Guarantees that are meant specifically for children include:

Article 21A provides that the State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine.

Article 24 provides that no child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment.

Article 39(e) provides that the shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing that the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength.

Article 39(f) provides that the shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.

Article 45 provides that the State shall endeavour to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years.

Other legislation are as follows:

  • the factories act, 1948
  • the employment of children act, 1938
  • right to education act(RTE),2009
  • the children(pledging of labour) act, 1933,etc.

Children constitute the nation‘s valuable human resources. The future well being of the nation depends on how its children grow and develop. Children are really future components in the form of great teachers, scientists, judges, rulers, doctors, planners, engineers, politicians on whom the entire society founded (rests). Unfortunately millions of children are deprived of their childhood and right to education and thereby they are subjected to exploitation and abuse.

Suggestion

# The present title of Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 should be amended as Child Labour (Prohibition and Rehabilitation) Act, so that more focus should be given to rehabilitation rather than regulation.

# Every State Government shall frame Rules under the Right to Education Act, 2009 immediately for the proper implementation of the provisions of the Act.

Sources:

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