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CHILD Protection & Child Rights » V. State Mechanisms » Notable State Policies, Programmes and Legislations » Goa Children's Act


In 2003 the State Government of Goa legislated and passed the only state level child welfare act in existence. The Goa Children's Act was amended two years later in 2005. Following is an overview of the act.

The act provides to definitions of the child. The definition of child is any person who has not completed the age of eighteen, while a child in case of child labour is any person who has not completed the age of fourteen. The act calls for the state to ensure children are protected against any form of abuse, exploitation and neglect; SC/ST children receive special attention with regard to education, ensure the improvement of children's health and nutrition services, follow the provisions of the UNCRC, and make these provisions legally enforceable.

With regard to education the act calls for schools to have a no rejection policy and include in their curriculum certain topics such as child rights, gender justice, and life studies on hygiene, health, etc. Schools should have student parliaments to ensure child participation, and appropriate facilities. The act makes a commitment to make education universal within seven years of the passing of this act. With regard to health and nutrition the act calls for the state to universalize all vaccines and immunisations, to take preventive measures against the spread of diseases such as AIDS, provide care and rehabilitation to all ill children, pay special attention to the needs of children with leprosy, substance abuse problems and disabilities, etc.

The act calls for the registration, monitoring and evaluation of all Children's Homes. The act prohibits children under 14 being engaged in child labour, and calls for the release and rehabilitation of all child labourers. All police bodies must take actions against any reports of child labour and child trafficking. Child trafficking for any purpose is a punishable offence. Allegedly sexually abused children will go under medical testing. Children can only be placed in homes of non-relatives outside of the state with the permission of the Director parent. The act prohibits the sale of children. The state will take all necessary measure to prevent, rescue and rehabilitate child victims of commercial sexual exploitation. The state shall also take all necessary measure to protect child in difficult circumstances from abuse, neglect and exploitation of any kind with special attention for the girl child and differently-abled children.

Under this act the state must create a Children's Fund to ensure the implementation of this act. A state level authority to see to all child rights violations will be established. The act also lays our punishment for violation of any of the provisions in the act and procedures for prosecution of violators. It lays out the role and powers of the Children's Court.

To read the full text of the act and rules please click here: Goa Act