Child Rights in India

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) was set up in March 2007 under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005, an Act of Parliament (December 2005). The Commission’s Mandate is to ensure that all Laws, Policies, Programmes, and Administrative Mechanisms are in consonance with the Child Rights perspective as enshrined in the Constitution of India and also the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

WHO IS A ‘CHILD’?

According to international law, a child means every human being below the age of 18 years. This is a universally accepted definition of a child and comes from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), an international legal instrument accepted and ratified by most countries.India has always recognised the category of persons below the age of 18 years as distinct legal entity. That is precisely why people can vote or get a driving license or enter into legal contracts only when they attain the age of 18 years. Marriage of a girl below the age of 18 years and a boy below 21 years is restrained under the Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929. Moreover, after ratifying the UNCRC in 1992, India changed its law on juvenile justice to ensure that every person below the age of 18 years, who is in need of care and protection, is entitled to receive it from the State.

What makes a person a ‘child’ is the person’s ‘age.’ Even if a person under the age of 18 years is married and has children of her/his own, she/he is recognised as a child according to international standards.

While all children need protection, because of their social, economic, or even geographical location, some children are more vulnerable than others and need special attention. These children are:
# Homeless children (pavement dwellers, displaced/evicted, refugees etc.)
# Migrant children.
# Street and runaway children.
# Orphaned or abandoned children.
# Working children.
# Child beggars.
# Children of prostitutes.
# Trafficked children.
# Children in jails/prisons.
# Children affected by conflict.
# Children affected by natural disasters.
# Children affected by HIV/AIDS.
# Children suffering from terminal diseases.
# Disabled children.
# Children belonging to the Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes.

WHAT ARE CHILD RIGHTS?

All people under the age of 18 are entitled to the standards and rights guaranteed by the laws that govern our country and the international legal instruments we have accepted by ratifying them.

THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA:

The Constitution of India guarantees all children certain rights, which have been specially included for them. These include:
# Right to free and compulsory elementary education for all children in the 6-14 year age group (Article 21 A).
# Right to be protected from any hazardous employment till the age of 14 years (Article 24).
# Right to be protected from being abused and forced by economic necessity to enter occupations unsuited to their age or strength (Article 39(e)).
# Right to equal opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and guaranteed protection of childhood and youth against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment (Article 39 (f)).

Besides these they also have rights as equal citizens of India, just as any other adult male or female:

# Right to equality (Article 14).
# Right against discrimination (Article 15).
# Right to personal liberty and due process of law (Article 21).
# Right to being protected from being trafficked and forced into bonded labour (Article 23).
# Right of weaker sections of the people to be protected from social injustice and all forms of exploitation (Article 46).

Research, documentation and interventions by government and the civil society groups in the past have clearly brought forth some of the following child protection issues and categories of children that deserve special protection:

# Gender Discrimination.
# Caste discrimination.
# Disability.
# Female foeticide.
# Infanticide.
# Domestic violence.
# Child sexual abuse.
# Child marriage.
# Child labour.
# Child prostitution.
# Child trafficking.
# Child sacrifice.
# Corporal Punishment in schools.
# Examination Pressure and Student Suicides.
# Natural disasters.
# War and conflict.
# HIV/AIDS.

In the efforts to improve the implementation of the Juvenile Justice System in the country UNICEF is also supporting the government with the development of training materials for the Judiciary and various other functionaries of the system like the child welfare committee members, police and care-takers in the various institutions under the Act.

Picture Credits: andreas.laursen /Flickr.

By Pratiksha Sharma on June 12, 2010 · Posted in Human Rights

49 Comments | Post Comment

Supriya Tyagi says:

After a long time, I came across an article that provides complete classification of children on universal basis, and not only on the basis set up by constitution of India. The author must be praised for it. Also the classification in which children are exploited is appreciable. But as a common Indian, I must admit that slight more tress on child labor could have added gems to this article. This article lacks critical comments on implementation on law made in 2007. Although government has taken a good step by providing a few compulsory seats to poor student in private students. What can really change scenario of exploitation of children in India is education. As mentioned by author, "Right to free and compulsory elementary education for all children in the 6-14 year age group" should be strictly implemented. Overall, three and a half stars for this article out of five. Good attempt :-)

Posted on June 13th, 2010

Gaurav Kumbhkar says:

Dear Pratiksha Sharma,

This article is a very wage one. It should have been more specific related to the problems and the lacuna's in the legislation meant for the betterment of the child. The uniformity in the definition of the child is the biggest issue currently. I am commenting on ur article as a legal person and as i am presently working on this issue itself i.e. Child Rights I feel you should have more focuses area to work on rather than working vaguely.
It has been well said by Ms. Supriya Tyagi in her comment. I feel the age limit which government has fixed 6-14 yrs., is not apt it should be 0-18yrs. as according to my grassroot knowledge.The RTE act is also utter shit. It just talks about commercialization of the education.
Great attempt all though.

Posted on June 23rd, 2010

Akshay Bhaskar says:

it is finally nice to read something about the rights of the children. everywhere it is the protection of rights, but it is related to that of adults, however, children are prone to be abused and more than anyone, they are the most vulnerable in the society, therefore, it is a must to even educate the children about their rights so they can stand up to the "know it all" adults, be it at home or school or wherever

Posted on July 2nd, 2010

honey says:

dear Pratiksha
awesome study…….
but its sad that very few are actually aware of it. happy and glad to know der are a few ppl like u who bother about it…..
great!!!!!!!!!!!!!keep goin!!!!!!!!!

Posted on July 13th, 2010

deeksha says:

this is nice to see that some are conserned for the protection of the right’s of children

Posted on November 2nd, 2010

Brajesh Mishra says:

Dear Ms Pratiksha,

The article is an informative one………..\\ Thanks

Posted on December 3rd, 2010

taha nega says:

its being good to read such article,but how it would be implement through whole,whereas more than 60% of nation is illiterate which they gives birth,and the child hampers…and goes on blaming the govt……but it’s appreciable…thanks !

Posted on May 12th, 2011

Pratik Rach says:

It is a fact that out of the 300 million children in India, a lot live in an economic and social environment which could impede the child’s physical and mental development. It is the need of the hour that we all gear up to meet the needs of these children in India today, to enable us to see an enlightened and empowered India tomorrow. CRY primarily focusing on the unique problems concerning the children in India. They include issues related to children and work, tackling the problem of child labour, elimination of discrimination towards Girl Child etc and have Public Action Groups for the same where volunteers and people in each ward make their particular area child-friendly. One can thus work towards this cause by getting involved with them: http://www.jaagore.com/project/public-action-groups-bangalore

Posted on June 6th, 2011

Shri Paul sharma says:

Who will care child in India all bureaucrates, leaders, business man and landlords have child labour in their home.

Posted on August 13th, 2011

Ujwala says:

Excellent job u have done.ur very in-spiring.but could u provide detail information of school students rights .i would like to render my possible efforts

Posted on August 26th, 2011

manas kumar behera says:

ncpcr will give child right protection in india best possible way

Posted on October 25th, 2011

Shalini says:

Dear Pratiksha

Thank you so much for this very knowledgeable article..

Posted on November 4th, 2011

ganapathy says:

good

Posted on November 21st, 2011

sartaaz says:

its absolutely informative information to the children. it has helped us in our project. good R&D.

Posted on November 28th, 2011

vinod yadav says:

Child rights is sensational issue for our country.they are future of our country.it should be strictly implemented on ground level so that we can improve the child rights socialy & economicaly.

Posted on December 10th, 2011

ravi basargi says:

thank u for knowledgeable guidance………

Posted on December 22nd, 2011

g.lakshmi tulasi says:

its really a good report thanking you

Posted on January 16th, 2012

purnima debbarma says:

Keep it up,
u r the real inspiration 4 the new generation and a lession for people who abuse the child and their rights.

Thanks

Posted on January 19th, 2012

nadhini says:

Its good know about all the rights give to children in indian constitution.Even the rights are given to children the girld child marriges are not preventing by the govt in few remote place.When every citizen in indian came to know about the “rights of child” by other sources(not only by the internet publish in newspaper and make adds on t.v)as that every people i.e, who are illtrate can know about the rights
Thank u mrs.Pratiksha for your artical an this website

Its too good to learn about the rights……….

Posted on January 19th, 2012

konda naidu says:

to day iwas saw in the news paper 2yeas old baby beten by somebody baby was badly injured who is responsible for this event it was happened in delhi. in my opinion this a govt mistake why govt should not take any serious action because of dare less that kind of ministers thay have sit in the house that is batter for the cuntry childrens waiting for the good monoster

Posted on January 28th, 2012

Himjay Kumar says:

Children are the building blocks of nation, Promoting child rights in India has emerged with efficient impacts on the society but still we are very far from the reality that 12666377 child labor exist in India,crime against children progressively increases with 3.8% every year at every 5 consecutive years. so it is a issue to be addressed at national front.

Posted on February 1st, 2012

Abhinav sharma says:

Nice article …….this article is so much informative for me…

Posted on February 1st, 2012

sindhusha says:

The article was good but only few people were aware if it…..This is the reason why we can still see child labour and street children and rag pickers in our country……….all the people must be aware of the children rights………..

Posted on February 9th, 2012

rekha shridhar says:

its good one but you also have to mention the age differences occur in different different children’s law related like child labour upto 14 , right to education 6 to 14 and The major act like juvenile justice act 2000 is the one who say child means below 18 after UNCRC.

Posted on February 12th, 2012

umesh says:

nice informative article.

Posted on February 14th, 2012

ATHIRA M.S says:

great work..

Posted on February 18th, 2012

swetha says:

great job!

Posted on February 18th, 2012

bhumika pawar says:

Its ,….really a great work done.,.,,.,so keep it up & all the very Best for Future.,.,.,

Posted on February 27th, 2012

afroz says:

its really a great job excellent

Posted on March 29th, 2012

Raj kumar Mahajan says:

Childrenare gifts of god.They need more careand protection.Mother plays great role .Modern mother takes her to schoolor seethat he is sitted in transport.she teachesher in Home work.The work of reducing weigt of school bag is not reduced.only books to be required according to time table need to be taken in our time hardly there were few books i am talking of early forties,Teachers should be sincere and no home worh a all.
Justice E.K Mahajan

Posted on April 3rd, 2012

shrami tari says:

nice informative article.

Posted on June 13th, 2012

Lakshmi Narayana Nagisetty says:

In India children accounts for more than one third of its population and as per the estimates of the Censes 2011, more than 40 Crore are the children. It is the fact that Children are the key resource in achieving the development of the Nation with better sustainability and quality. Another fact is that Water, Poverty, Disability & Development are the cause and consequence of each other and this needs holistic approach with multi-sectoral model to achieve the sustainability of the children. The present scenario reflects that many of the children were neglected in general and particularly living in the rural and urban slum areas and are out of the mainstream both socially and educationally.

This further complicates their living with vulnerabilities and deteriorates their quality of life (QOL) by depriving access for their rights.

The need is to understand the challenges & opportunities of the children and initiatives & suggestions for mainstreaming them.

In view of the existing Acts and Policies of the Children,access can be improved with right based strategies and interventions.

Looking forward for better sharing and networking for reaching the children with sustainable solutions….

All the Best

Posted on July 22nd, 2012

priya says:

Dear pathiksha sharma

u really did a great job.your article is simple,neat, informative.

Posted on August 22nd, 2012

gaikwad vijay says:

nice thinking keep it and do like this only.

Posted on September 2nd, 2012

katyana gaur says:

we all should try to do our fundamental duties!!!!!!!!!!

Posted on September 7th, 2012

Deepak kushwaha says:

Not all work is bad for children. Some social scientists point out that some kinds of work may be completely unobjectionable — except for one thing about the work that makes it exploitative. For instance, a child who delivers newspapers before school might actually benefit from learning how to work, gaining responsibility, and a bit of money. But what if the child is not paid? Then he or she is being exploited.

Posted on September 21st, 2012

John says:

bravo indians good cild protection law

Posted on October 14th, 2012

manju says:

very good

Posted on December 3rd, 2012

Mr. Bharat Nimavat says:

yes, good

Posted on December 12th, 2012

Hemantha says:

You have done a great job,your article is excellent i feel good while reading your article………keep going!!!!!!!!!

Posted on December 29th, 2012

madhu says:

good i acquire some knowledge while reading your article….nice article………

Posted on December 29th, 2012

sagar says:

excellent article

Posted on January 5th, 2013

pratibha says:

GOOD & INFORMATIVE

Posted on January 9th, 2013

swarna says:

it was so nice to read or gaining some knowledge about child right u have done excellent job and keep going on

Posted on January 16th, 2013

bindhu says:

this is very informative for rights of child in India and also this article is very good,thinking of child is nice and so good

Posted on March 3rd, 2013

sudheer says:

in these days so many mothers are give schooling to her child,but some are having lack of money problem they don’t give the study.so help them to study .

Posted on March 3rd, 2013

Mamata Singh says:

Most of the community peopole have not awareabout this right so that most family comeing under below provety line they did not providing good food and shelter and eduction.A monthly meeting schould be orgnized by the Govt department onle to aware about the Free and compulsory eduaction

Posted on March 16th, 2013

tanzeel says:

It good for our developement of our nation.prohibiting child being labour has genunely improved something which is required for our nation.Govt helping the illetirate child by giving them wealth of education is costlees. showing of penance by govt of India is showing common brotherhood amongst people.

Posted on May 27th, 2013

shefali says:

its really very helpful

Posted on June 17th, 2013