NEW DELHI: India’s apex child rights body has flagged the issue of a large number of children in various states being made to live in shelter homes “unnecessarily” by district child welfare committees.
The Commission has now decided to audit the decisions by the CWCs to declare the kids as “children in need of care and protection”, which paves the way for them being put in shelter homes where they often face neglect, sub-standard care and even abuse.
There are nearly 3.8 lakh children living in over 9,500 childcare institutions-run by state governments and NGOs in the country.
Officials in the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights said in its statutory meeting recently, it was highlighted that many CWCs are defaulting in declaring children as CNCP before sending them to shelter homes. The Commission has therefore decided that a fact-finding exercise will be carried to examine the decisions taken by the CWCs.
“We feel that many children who need to be restored to their families are also kept in shelter homes which is not in best of their interest,” a senior NCPCR official said. “That happens mostly in case of rescued trafficked children, survivors of sexual abuse or pornography or those who have been saved from child marriages.”
The first- ever nationwide mapping and review of 9,589 CCIs by a committee constituted by the Union Women and Child Development Ministry had said that majority of children in shelter homes are often left unsupervised at night, subjected to corporal punishments in order to get “disciplined”, given sub-standard food, not provided adequate medical or legal aid and are left to languish for years without proper education or any skill training.