Issue being considered to be of prime importance as it can help in getting those found restored to their parents

Not very long ago, a Child Welfare Committee here had declared a minor boy legally free for adoption, as according to the police his parents remained untraced. However, later it turned out that the child could not be restored to his parents despite a missing report lodged by them.

To overcome such problems, the Delhi Police have now offered assistance to integrate the data on missing and found children on their Zipnet website with that of the CWC.

A decision in this regard was taken a few days ago at a meeting attended by police representatives and members and chairpersons of the Child Welfare Committees. The participants discussed the problems faced by the CWCs in getting information from the police regarding the status of missing children. The issue is being considered to be of paramount importance as it can also help in getting found children restored to their parents.

Under the Juvenile Justice Act, there is a time-limit of four months for the CWC to obtain the information from the police station concerned. However, several participants stated that they were often asked to coordinate with a number of police stations to look for information regarding missing/found person. “There is no single unit from where the status can be known. The Missing Persons Squad could be of assistance in this respect,” said a CWC member.

At the meeting held under the chairmanship of Director, Department of Women and Child Development of the Delhi Government, the two sides decided that the CWCs should take the child from the police and ensure that the investigation officer gives the daily-diary entry or FIR number and the Zipnet identification code pertaining to the missing child. In case of restoration of missing children, the investigation officer's presence at the time of restoration by the CWC has been made compulsory. For their part, the police have also agreed to provide assistance in integration of the data available on their Zipnet website to the information on found children updated on the CWC website.

The police personnel from the Missing Persons Squad will henceforth come personally to collect the data on found children from the CWCs on a weekly basis, till the Committees make arrangements for uploading the information on their website having an interface with the Zipnet website. “Some CWCs presently do not have the required manpower and infrastructure to upload the data. While efforts are being made to resolve the matter, the police on their part should also ensure that missing children and related FIRs are expeditiously uploaded onto the Zipnet,” said the CWC member, adding that many of the missing children turn out to be victims of human trafficking.

The Department of Women and Child Development has also set up a five-member committee to come up with the parameters required for smooth integration of the data uploaded on the CWC and Zipnet websites.

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