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NCPCR to set up separate benches to hear child rights cases

Child-Rights---BCCL
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NEW DELHI: In an effort to reach out to children facing violence and abuse, the National Commission for Child Rights (NCPCR) has decided to conduct special visits and set up separate benches at the district level to directly hear cases and representations on issues related to violation of child rights.

According to a senior functionary at the NCPCR, the child rights body will begin with these hearings in the 115 aspirational districts identified by the Niti Ayog. The 'aspirational districts' programme to be carried out by the Niti Ayog in collaboration with the states was launched by prime Minister Narendra Modi in January 2018 to expedite the improvement of socio-economic factors in these select districts that were found 'lacking' on factors related to health, nutrition and education.

According to people in the know, the special benches will comprise of representatives from the NCPCR and the general public will be allowed to submit these cases directly to the bench and the district administration in these 115 districts have been roped in to publicise these bench hearings.

The Juvenile Justice Act (2000) mandates state governments to establish Child Welfare Commitees (CWC's) at the district level to address such issues at the state government level. However the issue of sexual abuse of minor girls at a foster home in Bihar's Muzaffarpur and the findings of an NCPCR survey released last year revealed the need for strengthening CWC's and the foster care system.

In addition, an investigation conduced by NCPCR into case of illegal adoptions carried out by the Missionaries of Charity in Jharkhand last year, revealed that the NGO had thwarted several bids of visits conducted by the local CWC to investigate complaints of illegal adoptions carried out in exchange for money.
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