New Delhi, Feb 16 (UNI) The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) today expressed concern over the plight of juveniles in the country and stressed the need to make the government, police and the judiciary more sensitive about the protection and welfare of children.
Addressing the inaugural session of the first National consultations with representatives of the judiciary, police and State Governments, NCPCR Chairperson Santa Shinha said over 5000 cases against juveniles have been pending in courts with many of them going on for over 12 years. But this not the only challenge that children in need of juveniles justice face. There is also variance in the standards meted out by various authorities.
Dr Sinha said recently the commission visited a number of states to review implementation of government policies on children and found that there was almost no provision for linkage to remedial bridge school education for children with limited or disrupted education.
''Our imperative must be to ensure that all children coming into the juvenile justice system are sent back to school and their families.
In fact, I believe that the extension of the right to education through appropriate remedial mainstreaming is one of the most important factors which can fight criminalisation and institutionalisation of these children,'' she said.
Over the past few months the NCPCR has established independent expert committees focused on Children's Homes and the Juvenile Justice Boards to identify the gaps in the delivery of justice and implementation of Juvenile Justice Act, and the tendency towards either treating them as criminals or putting them into Homes and forgetting about them. The studies have shown that the length of the time spent in institution is too long most of the time, rate of restoration to the families is not satisfactory. Rehabilitation of children with proper education and their protection from abuse require greater attention, the chairperson of NCPCR revealed.
Briefing on the objective of consultation, Ms Dipa Dixit member NCPCR said the national studies have also revealed that more than 50 percent of child homes do not provide any counselling services across the country. In addition, more than 80 per cent caretakers do not have any proper training to handle children. Physical punishment is a dominant method to discipline the children at these children homes, she said.
Ms Sandhya Bajaj stressed the need to sensitise the judiciary, police and government machinery to protect the children. She said the plight of the children in children homes is a matter of concern and corrective steps are urgently needed.
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