The National Commission of Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has recommended non-institutional care options for children in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection. Terming institutional care as the last resort for these children,the NCPCR has suggested foster care,kinship care and supervised and assisted living for them. According to experts,though the options would be new for India,these have been suggested after studying models around the world,including the UK,US and South Africa.
Every child needs care. Once these children are put in observation homes,they are forgotten by their families. They live in inhumane conditions; instead they should be sent to respective families, said Dipa Dixit,member,NCPCR.
The NCPCR,which has recommended a slew of measures in the Juvenile Justice Act,2006 (Recommended),has asked for a comprehensive policy framework to set up alternative care which supports parenting in the best interests of children living without parental care. It has sent a copy to the PMO,UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi,Ministry of Women and Child Development,HRD and Social and Justice Empowerment.
Widening the reach of the JJ Act,the child rights body has also recommended inclusion of two new categories of children: those who are being trafficked and those who are being displaced either due to civil unrest or natural disaster. This will help in expanding its reach in a big way, added Dixit.
Keeping in view the ever-increasing cases of child abuse,the commission has recommended introduction and implemention of a comprehensive domestic child abuse policy and legislative framework specifying the role of the family (including parental responsibilities),the scope and nature of government intervention in the family. It has been recommended to the government to set up an agency specifying the professionals dealing with children at different levels like police,doctors,nurses,teachers etc, said an official.
There are a lot of child abuse cases which take place at homes but do not come to light. At present,there is no policy to deal with such cases. A study a few years ago had given shocking results with the majority of children facing child abuse , Dixit said.