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Children yet to receive protective cover as state sleeps on scheme

It’s been a year since the Central government announced the Integrated Child Protection Scheme to provide security cover for all children.

Written by Tarannum Manjul | Lucknow |
November 28, 2009 4:08:19 am

It’s been a year since the Central government announced the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) to provide security cover for all children. But Uttar Pradesh is one of the few states which is yet to take the first step towards ensuring complete protection for all children.

The state is yet to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Central government for implementing the scheme in UP as well as formulate schemes to get Central support.

Further,the state does not even have Juvenile Justice Boards (JJBs) and Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) in all districts to ensure that children benefit from the existing laws.

The delay in implementation of ICPS has evoked concern from not just representatives of NGOs across the state,but also international organisations and the Central government officials.

This came to the fore at a state consultation of ICPS on Friday organised by Plan International,an organisation working on children’s issues and Dr Shambhunath Singh Research Foundation from Varanasi.

The discussion brought out some surprising facts. The scheme,which brings in different agencies under one umbrella to provide complete protection to children,was announced in 2007 and came into action towards 2008 end.

The Centre had asked the states to at least ensure JJ Boards and CWCs in all districts under the Juvenile Justice Act 2006. But of the 71 districts,only 17 have JJBs and 23 have CWCs in UP.

Interestingly,Gautam Budh Nagar,the district where the infamous Nithari incident was reported from,and Varanasi,which according to NHRC and UN statistics is one of the biggest transit points for child trafficking,neither have CWCs nor JJBs.

“This reflects the state’s attitude towards ensuring protection and rights to children. ICPS is yet to come in,but even under the existing laws,the state government has failed to ensure compliance,” said Sachin Golvalkar,regional manager of Plan International India.

Announced three years ago by the state government as a part of the implementation of JJ Act,Special Juvenile Police Protection Units (SJPPU),too,have not been formed in police stations across the state.

Prosecution Officer of the CB-CID UP,Jitendra Kumar admitted that although instructions have been sent to all police stations,the units are yet to be created at the office of the superintendent of police (SP) at the district level.

“People can approach the district office in case there is a child who is being victimised by the police,but we are yet to start these units at the thana level,” Kumar said.

Member secretary of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights Lov Verma said the commission has all its support plans ready and the moment the state signs the MoU,it will get into action. “So far,five states have signed the MoU and they have already started working on the project.”

The states which have already singed the MoUs are Karnataka,Andhra Pradesh,Goa,Tamil Nadu and Orissa.

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