Child safety not a priority with northern states


Prime VIP
Chandigarh, Punjab, Himachal, Uttarakhand top defaulters

New Delhi, June 28

Child protection continues to be the last of political priorities. First it took the government four years to approve the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS), the first ever centrally-sponsored scheme for protection of children trapped in difficult situations. Now, several state governments are dragging their feet on its implementation.

Over a year after the Union Cabinet on February 26, last approved the ICPS, 10 states and the UTs are yet to initiate the process of rolling the scheme - a must to protect over 20 crore vulnerable children in India. The first step towards operationalisation of the ICPS involves the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the state and the Centre.

Ten states and UTs are yet to sign MoUs, with the Centre urging the defaulters to get going on the front. Among the lagging states/UTs are Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Arunachal, Andaman and Nicobar, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep and Puducherry. Chandigarh along with other UTs has failed to comply despite the Home Ministry writing to the respective administrators to ensure action, which has become urgent. The US placed India on its second worst category on human trafficking for the seventh consecutive year, saying children in India were still highly vulnerable.

At a meeting, which the WCD Ministry called of the state ministers for the child welfare, rolling of the ICPS was a major agenda item. WCD Minister Krishna Tirath sought states’ cooperation for the ICPS, which will provide preventive, statutory, care and rehabilitation services to all children in need of care and protection or in conflict with law as defined under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.

The scheme mandates setting up of the child protection societies at state and district level; state project support units and state adoption resource agencies to register every single LAPA (licensed adoption agency). Most LAPAs and child service organisations, including NGOs are not yet registered. This is in violation of the JJ Act.

  • 20 pc children in India vulnerable; about 40,000 go missing every year
  • Indian budget gives mere 0.03 pc for child protection
  • Integrated Child Protection Scheme drafted in 2006; cabinet approval in February 2009
  • 10 states yet to sign MoUs needed to roll the scheme