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New Child Policy drafted by Women and Child Development Ministry

New Child Policy drafted by Women and Child Development Ministry

Women and Child Development Ministry (MoWCD) on 19 Dec released a draft of a new national child protection policy, which includes a declaration signed by all employees of institutions, agreeing to ensure the safety of children.

The draft has been uploaded on the MoWCD website for stakeholder’s comments. Once approved, it will apply to all the organizations whether public or private.

Supreme Court direction

The Supreme Court had earlier directed the CBI to investigate allegations involving 17 shelter homes for children, destitute women, beggars and senior citizens in Bihar following the case of sexual abuse of more than 30 girls in a shelter home in Muzaffarpur in the State.

The apex court had also asked the Centre to consider framing a national policy on protection of children.

Highlights of the New Child Policy

The draft policy recommends that all organizations must have a code of conduct based on “zero tolerance of child abuse and exploitation”.

It requires organizations to lay down that employees don’t use language or behavior that is “inappropriate, harassing, abusive, sexually provocative, demeaning or culturally inappropriate”.

Unlike the National Child Policy, 2013, the latest document doesn’t talk about children who may need additional special protection measures: including those affected by migration, communal or sectarian violence, children forced into begging or in conflict with the law, and those infected with HIV/AIDS.

It also doesn’t talk about the role of the state for ensuring the protection of child rights or addressing local grievances.

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