How a protective environment for all children can be created in India? Discuss the constitutional, legal, Institutional safeguards available to children in India.

Child protection is the prevention of the incidence of abuse, exploitation, violence and neglect of children. This includes commercial sexual exploitation, trafficking, child labour and harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation and child marriage. It is about recognizing that children are vulnerable and hence reducing their vulnerability by protecting them from harm and harmful situations.
A protective environment can be created for children by following steps:

  1. Social welfare policies, adequate budgets, public acknowledgement and ratification of international instruments
  2. Adequate legislative framework, its consistent implementation, accountability and a lack of impunity
  3. Open discussion, including the engagement of media and civil society
  4. Children should have knowledge of their protection rights and ways of avoiding and responding to risks
  5. Families, community members, teachers, health and social workers and police should cooperate in order to protect children

�Constitutional Safeguards for Children

  • Article-15 & 15(1): The State shall prohibit discrimination against any citizen on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex. Nothing in this article prevents the State from making any special provision for women and children
  • Article -21 A:The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age 6- 14 years in such manner as the State may, by law determine
  • Article-24:No child below the age of 14 years shall be employed to work in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment
  • Article-39(f):Enjoins the State to ensure that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that the childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment
  • Article-45:The State shall endeavor to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years
  • Article-243 G:Provides for institutionalization of child care by seeking to entrust programmes of women and child development to Panchayat

�Legislation related to Children

  • The�Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 codifies laws for adoption and maintenance of both boys and girls and declares that the sons and daughters are treated equally in the matter of succession.
  • The�Pre-Conception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994 regulates the use of pre-natal sex determination techniques.
  • The�Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act (ITPA), 1956 prohibits commercial sexual exploitation
  • The�Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 prohibits the engagement of children in certain employment
  • The�Juvenile Justice Act�formulates laws relating to juveniles in conflict with law (juvenile who is alleged to have committed an offence) and provide proper care and protection for children in need.

�Children are the future of any country. There should be a focused approach to protect them from certain forms of discrimination.

Published: June 12, 2019 | Modified:December 1, 2019

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