State Commission for Protection of Child Rights was constituted under the "Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005"on 28th December 2012. The commission's mandate is to ensure that all laws, policies, programmes and administrative mechanisms are in consonance with the child rights perspective as enshrined in the Constitution of India and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). United Nation Convention on Rights of the Child is an international treaty which recognizes that all children are born with fundamental freedoms and they have some inherent rights. This convention adopted by UN General Assembly on 20th November, 1989 is a comprehensive international instrument that codifies rights of the child. India ratified UNCRC on 11th December, 1992. UNCRC is considered as a landmark treaty for children as it provides care and protection of every person under 18 years of age. It is unique because it is comprehensive, universal, unconditional and holistic. The Convention requires that state parties must ensure that all children without any discrimination shall have :-
Right to Survival: Right to survival includes those basic or fundamental rights which are essential to survive. A child's right to survival begins before a child is born. Hence, the right to survival is inclusive of the right of the child to be born, right to minimum standards of food, shelter and clothing and the right to live with dignity. It also includes right against sex selective abortion or infanticide or feticides, timely immunization, breast feeding, right to good health, healthy environment etc.
Right to Protection: Right to protection emphasizes on children's right to be prevented and protected from violence, exploitation, abuse and any type of ill treatment at home or elsewhere. It covers issues of child labour, child marriage, child trafficking, street children, juvenile delinquency, children in conflict with law, child sexual abuse, child pornography, bonded labour, begging, drug abuse etc
Right to Development: Children have the right to all forms of development: emotional, mental and physical. Emotional development is fulfilled by proper care and love of a support system, mental development through education and learning and physical development through recreation, play and nutrition.
Right to Participation: Right to participation refers to children's right to speak, express and participate in all the decisions and proceedings 9including judicial proceedings) that affect their lives directly or indirectly. The children need to be heard and given opportunity and platform to express their views, concerns, observations and suggestions. Forming children's groups in villages and habitations, mandating representation in the management of school or child care institutions and government created community based child protection mechanisms are some of the ways to promote children's right to participation.
In consonance with the convention, the Constitution of India also provides certain rights to children in India such as:
Article 14: Right to equality
Article 15: Right against discrimination
Article 21: Protection of life and personal liberty
Article 21 A: Right to free and compulsory elementary education to all children of the age 6-14 years
Article 23: Right to be protected from being trafficked and forced into bonded labour
Article 24: Right to be protected from any employment in any factory or mine engaged in any hazardous employment till age of 14 years. Prohibition of employment of Children in factories, etc.
The Constitution of India also bestows certain responsibilities on the state. These include:
Article 15(3): Makes special provision for women and children.
Article 29: Protects the interest of minorities
Article 39 (E): Ensures that the health and strength of workers, men and women and tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter employment or vocations unsuited to their age or strength.
Article 39(F): Ensure that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.
Article 46; promote with special care the educational and economic interest of weakersections of the people and in particular of the scheduled Castes and Scheduled tribes and protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
Article 47: Raise the level of nutrition and standard of living of people and to improve public healthClick here for Constitution of India for reference of Articles given above