Issues Concerning Commission

Child Labour: The Hon’ble Delhi High Court delivered the judgment in a case on July 15th , 2009 laying down the roles and responsibilities of all government agencies involved. One of the salient features of the Judgment was the recovery of fine of Rs. 20000/- from the employer of each child labourer on the spot without waiting for a conviction. Earlier the recovery was not practically possible due to the cumbersome and lengthy procedure carried out by the Labour Department.

A second important point in the judgment was a clear direction to the State for taking action under all relevant laws including Child Labour Act, Bonded Labour Act, Juvenile Justice Act as well as the appropriate provisions of Indian Penal Code. This was the biggest bottleneck in the past as the authorities generally used to act under Child Labour Act in case of children under 14 years whereas the children between 14 and 18 were left out. Also, Child Labour Regulation and Prohibition Act 1986 was only concerned with final employer & IPC provisions were not applied, hence the traffickers would often go scot free. After this order adolescent would also be liberated and rehabilitated under Bonded Labour Abolition Act 1976 and Juvenile Justice Act 2000. DCPCR is monitoring rescuing and rehabilitation of child labour as per the directions of Delhi High Court. The Commission receives complaints regarding a large number of children living and working in hazardous circumstances at different locations in Delhi. Timely and effective intervention by the Commission has resulted in smooth and timely rehabilitation of child labour in many cases and also recovery of fines from defaulting employers.

Recommendations of Interim Relief: In number of cases of injury, orphanage due to death/casualty in family involving DTC buses, manholes, sewerages etc, the Commission has recommended grant of interim relief to children and / or family members. Appropriate authorities have complied with recommendations in almost all such cases.

Homeless Children: The Commission has taken up the issue of Homeless Children vigorously. It is estimated that there are around 50000 such children. These children can be divided into various categories such as children with parents, children with either father or mother, children working in dhabas, children doing various mean jobs such as rag-picking etc. DCPCR is of the view that in order to include them in the ambit of government schemes first they need to be counted.

Child Marriage: The Commission views practice of Child Marriage as violation of children’s fundamental rights. Effective and timely intervention of Commission has saved one minor girl children from becoming the victim of this evil social practice.

Right to Play and Recreation: Article 31 of UNCRC provides for Right to Relax, Play and to join a wide range of activities to the children. The Commission has taken cognizance of alleged violation of this Right. There are matters involving DDA and MCD where children were denied to play in parks. After interventions by the Commission, appropriate authorities have removed all such restrictions.

Sexual Abuse of Children: Under this wide area, the Commission has taken cognizance of a large number of cases, both in the family environment and outside. In many cases, Commission’s intervention has yielded punishment to guilty persons. Among one such cases, three girl children from a family, out of which two were sexually abused in the family environment, were rescued at the initiation of the Commission, and children were then placed in home for being taken care of.

Children engaged in Begging: DCPCR is a strong advocate of yet to be created State Child Protection Society under ICPS and working towards elimination of this most inhuman activity. At the governmental level, there is no specific program to tackle the problem found in begging, but these children can be rescued and rehabilitated under schemes and programmes such as ICPS. As discussed with the experts, concerned agencies, NGOs and the Government departments, these schemes will go a long way to make Delhi a Child Caring City. These issues are being taken up along with the out-of-school children and the unreached as a convergence programme with the Government and the civil society organizations.

Missing Children: Commission views Child Trafficking as major global issue closely linked with the issues of missing, migrant and exploited children. DCPCR acts as the monitoring body and conducts enquiry in these cases at regular intervals and report to Delhi High Court.

Girl Child: Struggle for existence: All children are to enjoy equal rights irrespective of their sex, race, colour, language, religion, ethnicity or disability (UNCRC, Article – 2). But even today a girl child is killed before she opens her eyes in this world and consequently, the sex ratio is consistently on decline. Despite various legal frameworks in existence, female foeticide continue unabated. A recent study conducted by the Centre for Social Research (CSR) with support from the Ministries of Health and Women and Child Development has come out with a finding that Delhi’s sex ratio is getting worse. DCPCR is ready with a project to combat this social problem.

Children with Special Needs: The founding principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child (UNCRC) prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. Accordingly,DCPCR, through intervention in several cases has ensured that no Child is discriminated on the basis of any kind of disability.

Violence by Children: Gruesome incidents of murder, rape and other violent behavior by the students in the schools have become a part of routine news. Delhi has turned into a city haunted by increasing incidences of violence by children of all age groups. Recently, a study conducted by the Safdarjung Hospital revealed that 11 per cent of students in South Delhi carry some kind of weapons to school. Parents, teachers or mental health professionals do face a big challenge in combating the problem of such emotional eruption and overt aggression. This is a time of high concern about violence by children that requires reflection as to what can be done to tame this tide. Research evidences support the fact that, if aggressive behavior is not modified or challenged in childhood, there is a risk and danger that it may become habitual. DCPCR has taken initiative to devise plans to address this disturbing issue concerning children who are the future of the nation.

Inclusive Policy on Children with Special needs and Economically Weaker Section of the Society: Article 23 of United Nations Convention on Rights of the Child (UNCRC) recognizes that a child with mental or physical disabilities has the right to “special care” and should enjoy a full decent life in conditions which ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate the child’s active participation in the community. The inclusive policy of the Government in the above mentioned lines has envisaged provisions bring the children with special needs into mainstream. But a changed attitude, sensitized towards acknowledging the special needs of the child is a prerequisite to the approach of inclusion. The gap between the reality and the world of good intentions inhabited in the minds of the policy makers has to be minimized. DCPCR has ventured to make a situational analysis and ensure that the rights of the children with special needs are enjoyed by them.
For the inclusion or bringing these children into mainstream, it is essentially required that the needs of the children of economically weaker sections of the society are recognized and protected. DCPCR strongly feels that the right opportunities be given to these underprivileged categories of children by the schools as per the statutory requirements.

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan – Implementation and Monitoring and Free and Compulsory Education for Children:
Education works as the most important tool for a child to lead a good life in future. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan has been the most comprehensive scheme of Government of India in this direction. The Commission, through its interventions, tried that the scheme reached its intended beneficiaries.
The Right of the Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 for children between 6-14 years has provided a significant role for the Commission. In a survey conducted by the Mission Convergence, Govt. of NCT of Delhi, it was found that about 2.5 lakhs children in a population of 25 lakhs people from the marginalized background are out of school. The gravity of the problem was further emphasized by the various non-government organizations during the course of several consultations organized by the DCPCR which is identifying the targeted population and taking up cases and intervention program along with concerned government departments and the NGOs at the Commission. Under this Act, the State Commissions, while functioning as monitoring and appellate authority, shall in addition to the functions already assigned to them, also perform the following functions:

  • Examine and review the safeguards for rights provided by or under this Act and recommend measures for their effective implementation;
  • Inquire into complaints relating to child’s right to free and compulsory education; and
Take necessary steps as provided under Sections 15 and 24 of the said Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act.

Children Shelter Homes: DCPCR views monitoring the functioning of the Children/ Juvenile/ Special Homes as a major responsibility. The Commission had submitted a report to Delhi High Court on the deplorable conditions of homes. Through time to time inspections, DCPCR is

ensuring that rights of children are not violated in these homes. The Commission also submitted its Plan of Action for Shelter cum Drop-in-Center for Homeless Children in Delhi following a meeting with the Chief Secretary of Delhi in compliance with the order of Hon’ble Delhi High Court. DCPCR has categorized the requirements of the children into groups such as Homeless Children with parents, Homeless Children with their mother, Homeless drug addicted Children, Homeless Children suffering from terminal diseases like HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis etc., Homeless Physically and Mentally challenged Children, Homeless Children owing to Arm Conflict, Civil Commotion or Natural Calamity and Homeless Children being involved in begging, drug peddling and victims of different forms of abuse. The detailed plan of action included guidelines for Open Shelters for children in urban and Semi-urban areas. It identified 15 facilities to be provided in the shelters. They are bedding, bed sheets and quilts, drinking water and bathing water, fans and coolers during summer, heaters during winter, Lights, TV & Radio for information, First Aid, fire extinguishers for safety, lockers for keeping valuables of the homeless, cleaning and sanitation, medical facilities for different types of persons, regular visits by doctors for medical checkups, educational facilities for different categories of homeless and food by way of community kitchens or other arrangements.

Chief Minister
<Shri Arvind Kejriwal
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Last Updated : 23 Mar,2014