An NGO working for children’s rights Friday welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the existing Juvenile Justice Act.
The apex court Friday refused to interfere with the age of juveniles in cases where they were found guilty of heinous crimes.
It was held by the court that the provisions of the act were in compliance with the constitutional directives and international conventions.
“We are extremely relieved and happy that the Supreme Court has reaffirmed the stance of child rights advocates and has dismissed the petition challenging the existing Juvenile Justice Act,” said NGO Save the Children.
“The answer to juvenile delinquency is not in reducing the age of childhood but in investing more in preventing juvenile crime and the effective enforcement of the various provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act,” it said in a release.
The release said the government must commit more resources to child protection mechanisms and strengthening Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS).
Currently, the expenditure on child protection is an abysmal 0.04 percent of the union budget, despite large violence and abuse of children, it said.
All sections of society need to work together to ensure support and protection of children, Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath said Wednesday.
Residents’ welfare associations, non-governmental organisations (NGO), police and all other government departments need to work together for support and protection of children in the country, she said at a function to mark the World Day Against Child Labour here.
The minister urged every citizen to be vigilant and ensure that no child below the age of 18 is part of any economic activity.
She said collective efforts were needed to counter the challenges posed by domestic child labour.
Tirath said the problem of domestic child labour is gigantic. According to National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) Report 2009-10, nearly 50 lakh children in the age group 5-14 years are engaged in economic activities.
She said her ministry had adopted the convergence model for linking various departments at the district and block levels to have a multi-pronged approach under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS)
To protect and care for children, a District Child Protection Unit is being constituted in Tiruchi. The unit will address issues related to street children, child trafficking and child abuse.
Similar Child Protection units are being formed in every district under the State Child Protection Society, administered by the Department of Social Defence, Tamil Nadu. The Child Protection units will seek to offer care and protection for persons under 18 as outlined under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000.
The District Child Protection Unit will play a crucial role in implementation of the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS), a recently launched scheme administered by the Department of Social Defence.
The ICPS is reckoned as an umbrella scheme integrating all child related issues under one programme.
Initially, the focus of the unit would include monitoring and provision of shelter for street children, curbing child trafficking.