The Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry will formulate guidelines for children hostels, prescribing a minimum standard of care that includes adequate safety and periodic inspections. Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said children staying at hostels, including those attached to schools, are as vulnerable as those at any other facility like child-care institutions (CCIs) and daycare centres.
“Therefore, we decided to formulate a set of guidelines to ensure adequate safety, minimum standard of living conditions and periodic inspections of hostels,” she said. The Ministry has directed the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to draft guidelines in consultation with stakeholders and “we plan to have these guidelines notified under the Juvenile Justice Act or the JJ Rules,” she said.
To ensure safety and wellbeing of children at school hostels, the WCD Ministry will be sharing the guidelines with the Ministry of Human Resource Development for dissemination among schools providing boarding facility.
The WCD ministry has also notified all states and Union Territories to undertake inspection of all Child Care Institutions and related facilities and ensure their registration.
As per Section 41 of the Juvenile Justice Act 2015, registration of all CCIs, whether funded by government or not, is mandatory. The penalty of non-registration is prescribed under Section 42 of the Act.
The minister added that registration under the JJ Act is also mandatory for all CCIs running in the form of hostels.