KOCHI: The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has ordered the Social Justice Department to file a report on the incidents of children from orphanages facing sexual harassment after being sent under the custody of parents/guardian as per the directive of the Child Welfare Committee.
Based on a complaint filed by Jose Maveli of Janaseva Sisubhavan, Ernakulam, the SHRC acting chairman directed the Secretary of the Social Justice Department to look into the matter and file the report before May 28.
The complaint was filed in the wake of a recent incident in Ernakulam, in which a girl, an inmate of Janaseva Sisubhavan, was sexually harassed by her father after being sent in his custody.
As per the complaint, many children at Janaseva Sisubhavan are being taken to their native place, leading to harassment by their parents or guardian. The Child Welfare Committee, the statutory authority to look into these matters, are not taking into account the interests of the children while passing an order on granting their custody to parents and guardian, the complaint said.
The government can take action against the chairperson and members of the Child Welfare Committee if the authorities act against the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act. The committee often simply passes the order for sending the children under the custody of parents/guardian, ignoring the basic principles laid down by the Supreme Court, it said.