Context - 

  • To specifically deal with children (either as victims or perpetrators), the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has requested that each police station employ a Child Welfare Police Officer (CWPO).
  • The Union Home Ministry adopted the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) suggestion to appoint at least one officer, no lower than the level of Assistant Sub-Inspector, as CWPO at each station.
  • The Commission also proposed creating a Special Juvenile Police Unit in each district and city, led by an officer with the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police or higher.
  • To coordinate all police tasks involving children, the unit would consist of CWPOs and two social workers with expertise working in the field of child welfare, including a woman.
  • The advice comes against increased crimes against children, including murders and POCSO Act violations.

POSCO Act:

  • The Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act, passed in 2012, is gender-neutral, recognizing that boys can also be victims of sexual assault.
  • A kid is defined as someone under the age of 18.
  • It also specifies harsh penalties for exposing minors to or employing them to make child sexual abuse material.
  • The law establishes the reporting procedures for sexual offenses against children.
  • Unlike the Indian Penal Code, it sets the burden of evidence on the accused, following the principle of 'guilty unless proven innocent' (IPC).

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights:

  • The Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act of 2005 established the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development has administrative jurisdiction over it.
  • A child is defined as someone aged 0 to 18 under the statute.
  • It seeks to guarantee that all laws, policies, programs, and administrative mechanisms are consistent with the child Rightsrights viewpoint contained in the Indian Constitution and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • This Commission comprises a chairperson and six members, at least two of whom must be women.
  • The Central Government appoints them all for three years.
  • The Commission has a maximum age of 65 years for the Chairman and 60 years for members.
  • The Chairperson and Members' salaries and allowances, as well as other terms and conditions of employment, should be as stipulated by the Central Government.

The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights performs the following functions:

  • Examine and analyze the protections in place to protect children's rights, and provide recommendations for their successful implementation.
  • Inquire into child rights abuses and urge that legal action be taken in such circumstances.
  • Examine all elements that limit children's ability to exercise their rights due to terrorism, community violence, riots, natural disasters, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, trafficking, mistreatment, torture, exploitation, pornography, and prostitution, and offer suitable remedies.
  • Investigate and suggest suitable corrective actions for children in need of particular care and protection, such as children in distress, marginalized and underprivileged children, children without homes, and children of prisoners.
  • Treaties and other international instruments should be studied, and current policies, programs, and other actions on child rights should be reviewed regularly, with recommendations for successful implementation in children's best interests.
  • Conduct and encourage studies on children's rights.
  • Spread child rights literacy across society and raise knowledge of the protections available to defend these rights through publications, the media, seminars, and other accessible means.
  • Inspect or arrange for the inspection of any juvenile's custodial home or any other place of living or institution for minors under the jurisdiction of the Central Government, any State Government, or any other authority.
  • Investigate complaints and take suo moto action on matters about: 
    • Deprivation and violation of children's rights.
    • Non-compliance with regulations governing the protection and development of children.
    • Non-compliance with governmental choices, rules, or instructions intended to alleviate suffering, safeguard children's welfare, and assist such youngsters.
    • Other functions that may be deemed necessary for advancing child rights are.
    • The Commission shall not investigate any subject pending before a State Commission or any other Commission legally established under any legislation now in existence.
    • Provide an annual report to the Central Government and at other periods as the Commission deems appropriate.
    • Compile and evaluate kid data.

Source: TH