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National Mechanisms

CHILD Protection & Child Rights » IV. National Mechanisms

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Indian Constitution

The first step to fulfil the rights of children can be found in the Constitution of India. There are a number of articles that address various needs of children as outlined below. The articles are divided into two categories: Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy.National Mechanisms Fundamental Rights are justifiable in a court of law and are negatives that prohibit the states from doing thing. The courts are bound to declare a law as invalid if it violates a fundamental right. Directive principles are positive suggestions for states, and are not justifiable in a court of law.

Fundamental Rights

  • Article 14- The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of laws with in the territory of India.
  • Article 15- The State shall not discriminate against any citizen..Nothing in this Article shall prevent the State from making any special provisions for women and children.
  • Article 21-No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.
  • Article 21 A-The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of 6-14 years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine.
  • Article 23-Traffic in human beings and beggary and other forms of forced labour are prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with the law.
  • 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.
  • The Constitution (86th Amendment) Act was notified on 13th December 2002, making free and compulsory education a Fundamental Right for all children in the age group of 6-14 years.

Directive Principles

  • Article 39(e) and (f) provides that the State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing to "ensure that the health and strength of workers, men and women and the tender age of children are not abused" and "that the citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength" and that "the 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 endeavour to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years.
  • Article 47- The State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties
  • Article 243G read with Schedule 11 - provide for institutionalization of child care by seeking to entrust programmes of Women and Child Development to Panchayat (Item 25 of Schedule 11), apart from education (item 17), family welfare (item 25), health and sanitation (item 23) and other items with a bearing on the welfare of children.

To access the complete Constitution in English and Hindi click here: Constitution of India

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