The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), a statutory body to protect, promote and defend child rights in the country, has received 50,857 complaints during the last five years, from 2016-17 to 2020-21.
Government data showed that a maximum number of 9,572 complaints were received from Madhya Pradesh followed by 5,340 complaints from Uttar Pradesh. States like Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh also reported a large number of complaints — 4,276; 3,205 and 4,685 respectively — to the NCPCR in the last five years.
The Commission inquires into complaints and takes suo moto cognizance of cases of violation or deprivation of child rights, inspection of child care institutions, examines factors inhibiting enjoyment of child rights, reviews existing laws and policies for children, promotes public awareness and makes inquiries into matters relating to deprivation of child rights. It has powers of a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
For instance, taking cognizance of the alleged “auctioning” of girls in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara, NCPCR chairman P Kanoongo on Friday said that the matter would be investigated and the child rights body would ensure that the nexus is broken and the accused are punished. A NCPCR team will visit Bhilwara on November 7 and meet the families affected by trafficking to investigate the matter.
“We want every case related to children to be reported. For this, recently we have held a field-wise meeting of the Juvenile Police Units and the officers attached to them in the districts of all the states and tried to know the problem. In this, there has been a discussion regarding appointments including police sensitivity.
“Its full report is being prepared. Apart from this, we have also discussed with lawyers and judges of POCSO Court. Its purpose is that all the stakeholders involved in providing justice to the children should find solutions to these problems. POCSO law which is an effective law, if it is implemented properly, then crimes related to children can be stopped,” said the NCPCR chairman while talking to IANS.
As per the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has taken action to provide safety and security to children against such crimes and developed a manual on the safety and security of children in School, Guidelines on Cyber Safety and security of children, Guidelines on Hostels for Residential Educational Institutions and conducting webinars on cyber safety and child sexual abuse.
According to a recent Parliament reply, the NCPCR has taken many initiatives including regional meetings on POCSO.
The Commission organised regional meetings on “POCSO: Factors hindering the implementation and aspects of assistance to victims” in different regions of the country with an objective to build a comprehensive understanding on the implementation of the POCSO Act, 2012; discuss important aspects of assistance to POCSO victims and identify deliverables for NCPCRs/State Commissions for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCRs).
However, in a recent report, a parliamentary standing committee observed that there is a need for proactive advocacy and action on the part of the NCPCR to highlight child right issues. “The Committee is of the view that there is a need for proactive advocacy and action on part of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to highlight child rights issues.”
“Upon being informed during the deposition by the Ministry about illegal adoption rackets and the NCPCR working in that field, the Committee feels that since issues of child trafficking and abuse need close coordination with law enforcement authorities, the NCPCR should evolve a system to keep itself abreast of any such illegal adoptions, which can be taken up with the concerned stakeholders.”