From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Various provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act
Mains level : Child rights and their protection
The Union Minister of Women and Child Development has given important information regarding the protection of child beggars in India under various acts and ministries.
Q.What are the various legislatures aimed at protecting Child Beggars in India? Discuss their efficacy in the prevention of child begging as well as abuse.
Protection of Child Beggars
(A) JJ Act, 2015
- The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (JJ Act) is the primary law for children in the country.
- The Section 2 (14) (ii) of the Act, 2015, considers a child being in force or is found begging, or living on the street as a “child in need of care and protection”.
- As per Section 76 of JJ Act, whoever employs or uses any child for the purpose of begging or causes any child to beg shall be punishable with imprisonment.
- The Act provides a security net of service delivery structures along with measures for institutional and non-institutional care, to ensure the comprehensive well being of children in distress situations.
- The primary responsibility of execution of the Act rests with the States/UTs.
(B) Child Protection Services (CPS)
- The Ministry implements a centrally sponsored scheme CPS under the umbrella Integrated Child Development Services scheme.
- It supports the children in difficult circumstances including child beggars and destitute children.
- Under the scheme, institutional care is provided through Child Care Institutions (CCIs), as a rehabilitative measure.
- The programmes and activities in CCIs inter-alia include age-appropriate education, access to vocational training, recreation, health care, counselling etc.
- The scheme supports 24×7 emergency outreach/ helpline service for children in distress conditions.
- The service is accessible through a dedicated toll-free number, 1098 from anywhere in India.
(C) Rehabilitation measures
- The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, has undertaken a pilot project for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of Persons engaged in the act of begging.
- It is currently held in ten (10) cities; namely Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmadabad, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Lucknow, Patna, Nagpur and Indore.
- The initiative aims for identification, rehabilitation, counselling, skill development of beggars.
- It includes education of children engaged in begging/children of persons engaged in the begging.
The children of today are assets of tomorrow. Yet education, which is a fundamental right to every child in our country, is still a dream for many children in India, especially the ones who are poor, downtrodden and in dire need.