Child Protection Schemes and Programmes

Some of the existing Child Protection Schemes and Programmes include:

A Programme of Juvenile Justice for children in need of care and protection and children in conflict with law."The Government of India provides financial assistance to the State Governments/UT Administrations for establishment and maintenance of various homes, salaries of staff, food, clothing, etc, for children in need of care and protection and juveniles in conflict with law. Financial assistance is based on proposals submitted by States on a 50-50 cost sharing basis.

An Integrated Programme for Street Children without homes and family ties. Under the scheme, NGOs are supported to run 24 hours drop-in shelters and provide food, clothing, shelter, non-formal education, recreation, counselling, guidance and referral services for children.

"The other components of the scheme include enrolment in schools, vocational training, occupational placement, mobilizing preventive health services and reducing the incidence of drug and substance abuse, HIV/AIDS etc.

CHILDLINE Service for children in distress, especially children in need of care and protection so as to provide medical services, shelter, rescue from abuse, counselling, repatriation and rehabilitation. Under this initiative, a telephone helpline, number 1098, runs in 74 urban and semi-urban centres in the country.

Shishu Greha Scheme for care and protection of orphans/abandoned/destitute infants or children up to 6 years and promote in-country adoption for rehabilitating them.

Scheme for Working Children in Need of Care and Protection for children working as domestic workers, at roadside dhabas, mechanical shops etc. "The scheme provides for bridge education and vocational training, medicine, food, recreation and sports equipments.

Rajiv Gandhi National Creche Scheme for the Children of Working Mothers in the age group of 0'6 years. "The scheme provides for comprehensive day-care services including facilities like food, shelter, medical, recreation, etc. to children below 6 years of age.

Pilot Project to Combat the Trafficking of Women and Children for Commercial Sexual Exploitation in Source and Destination Areas for providing care and protection to be trafficked and sexually abused women and children components of the scheme include networking with law enforcement agencies, rescue operations, temporary shelters for the victims, repatriation of hometown and legal services.

National Child Labour Project (NCLP) for the rehabilitation of child labour. Under the scheme, project societies at the district level are fully funded for opening up of Special Schools/Rehabilitation Centres for the rehabilitation of child labourers. "These Special Schools/Rehabilitation Centres provide non-formal education, vocational training, supplementary nutrition and stipend to children withdrawn from employment.

"The Courts, especially the Supreme Court has, through their numerous decisions have favoured the well-being of the children. In People's Union for Democratic Rights v Union of India, 1982, the apex court held that children under 14 could not be employed in hazardous occupations. "The cases such as M.C. Mehta v. State of Tamil Nadu, 1991 and 1996 had the same verdict as in the above case. In Gaurav Jain v. Union of India, 1997, the Supreme Court held that the children of the prostitutes have the right to equality of opportunity, dignity, care, protection and rehabilitation so as to be part of the mainstream of social life without any pre-stigma attached to them.

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