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CHILD Protection & Child Rights » VII. International Mechanisms » United Nations » India and UNCRC

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The 1997 Report

India submitted their first/initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child in 1997. The purpose of this first report was to give the Committee a sense of the situation of children in India. The report outlines the various laws and policies pertaining to children that are being implemented in the country. The report outlines steps taken by India to fulfil the UNCRC commitments.

  • Ministries have begun to outline their roles in fulfilling the convention provisions
  • State governments have begun incorporating convention articles into their plans of action for children
  • The government is partnering with notable NGOs to determine actions to be taken
  • India has begun gathering data for the country's first periodic report.

The report goes on to discuss civil rights and freedoms, family care and alternative care, health and nutrition of children, education, leisure and cultural activities, and special protection measures the state is currently engaged in.

The Committee responded to this report with a list of recommendations. Some of the recommendations are:

  • Make efforts to match country legislations with convention provisions and plan and allocate resources to ensure the implementation of all child related legislations.
  • Adopt a comprehensive national plan of action, based on a child rights approach, to implement the Convention.
  • Develop a comprehensive system for collecting disaggregated data about the status of children
  • Establish a statutory, independent national commission for children
  • Establish a national age limit that a person ceases to be a child
  • Address issues of discrimination against caste and tribal groups
  • Ensure the rights of the child who is in police custody
  • Ensure the rights of children with disabilities
  • Aim to eliminate child labour
  • Etc.

The 2001 Report

India submitted their first comprehensive periodic report in 2001. Again the report discusses discuss civil rights and freedoms, family care and alternative care, health and nutrition of children, education, leisure and cultural activities, and special protection measures the state is currently engaged in.

In 2001 report, the Government of India (GoI) also outlines actions taken as per the recommendation of the Committee in 1997. The report discusses all the various legislative achievements of the last five years such as the adoption of the following acts:

The report outlines that minimum legal age has been defined for issues such marriage, sexual consent for girls, voluntary enlistment in the armed forces, admission to employment or work, criminal responsibility, juvenile crime, capital punishment and life imprisonment. To counter discrimination the GoI has constituted two exclusive ministries: the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for SCs, OBCs and Minorities in 1998 and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in 1999. GoI adopted the Meena project to promote positive images of the girl child. Measures have been taken to improve the Civil Registration System. Central Adoption and Resource Agency (CARA) was constituted to act as an information centre for children available for inter-country adoption and receiving adoption applications.

The GoI is taking several measures to protect the rights of children with disabilities as per the provisions of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995. With regard to child health, the government is taking initiatives to strengthen the existing Reproductive and Child Health Programmes. The 83rd Amendment Bill of the Constitution of India is under consideration in the Parliament to ensure children the fundamental right to education. The GoI gives special attention to children National Disaster Relief Plan to meet the needs of children in emergency situations including situations of conflict. The Government has adopted a two-pronged strategy of supply control and demand reduction of drugs. With regard to sexual exploitation and abuse of children the GoI has many provisions to protect children in the Indian penal code. India also has an emergency helpline for children: CHILDLINE 1098. GoI has also amended the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 to counter trafficking of children.

Again the Committee responded to the periodic report, 2001 with a list of recommendations. Some of the recommendations are as follows:

  • Make every effort to increase the proportion of the budget allocated to the realization of children's rights
  • Involve NGO's in the more systematic manner to achieve the goals of the convention and MDGs
  • Systematically involve parliamentarians and community and religious leaders in its programmes to eradicate customs and traditions that impede the implementation of the Convention
  • Take all necessary steps to abolish the discriminatory practice of "untouchability", prevent caste- and tribe-motivated abuse, and prosecute State and private actors who are responsible for such practices or abuses.
  • Include in the next periodic report specific measures and programmes relevant to the Convention undertaken by the state
  • Promote the participation of children within the family, the schools, institutions, as well as in judicial and administrative proceedings
  • Strengthen its efforts to train the law enforcement personnel on the human rights of children
  • Prohibit corporal punishment in all institutions including the family
  • Create a universal civil code for adoption
  • Create new legislation to counter sexual exploitation and abuse of children
  • Seek help of UN agencies with regard to HIV/AIDS and child health
  • Take legislative and awareness-raising measures to prohibit and eradicate all kinds of traditional practices harmful to children
  • Improve the education system to meet goals
  • Establish CHILDLINE centres in all districts of the country
  • Adopt comprehensive legislation to ensure adequate protection of refugee and asylum-seeking children
  • Amend the Child Labour Act, 1986 so that household enterprises and government schools and training centres are no longer exempt from prohibitions on employing children
  • Strengthen and extend the Integrated Programme for Street Children
  • Extend the application of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 to the State of Jammu and Kashmir
  • Strengthen the Juvenile Justice system and personnel through training and awareness programmes
  • Etc.

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