May 04, 2005, The Hindu

Special Correspondent

The introduction of a Bill in the Lok Sabha the other day to facilitate the setting up of a national commission and State commissions for the protection of children’s rights has been welcomed by CUTS (Consumer Rights and Trust Society).

“If the introduction of the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Bill 2005” is an indication of the United Progressive Alliance Government’s commitment, then the commissions would be in place soon”. CUTS noted in a statement here on Tuesday. The State Governments should take immediate steps to constitute commissions and also to adopt their State-level Child Policy, it said.

The introudction of the Bill, pending from 2001, showed India’s committment to the United Nation’s Convention of Rights of the Child, ratified by it in 1992, CUTS pointed out.

The Bill would enable setting up of courts to carry out speedy trial of offences against children. Such courts, separate from juvenile courts would come up in each district to look into cases of violation of child rights.

The Bill has provisions empowering the Commissin to examine and review safeguards provided for protection of child rights and suggest measures for their effective implementation. It will also look into factors that violate the rights of children affected by terrorism, communal violence, riots, natural diasters, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, trafficking and any kind of exploitation.

CUTS noted that the proposed Commission is also empowered to probe matters relating to children with special needs, including children in distress, marginalised and disadvantaged children, children in conflict with law and children of prisoners.