‘Important to have dedicated website, to be networked across country’

Concerned over a large number of children going missing in the country, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has sought a report from the States on creation of websites for reporting cases.

Pursuing the October 12, 2011 Supreme Court order, the Commission has said the issue of missing children and trafficking in children within and across States requires concerted and coordinated action by all departments concerned.

In a letter to the States, NCPCR Chairperson Shantha Sinha has said all cases of missing children should be registered and investigation started within 24 hours. In case, no contact is established with the child within 48 hours of registration of the complaint, its photograph must be published in the electronic media and the information shared with the anti-trafficking, anti-kidnapping and crime cells of the State Police headquarters.It is important to have a dedicated website, providing details of missing children, that is to be networked across the country, easily accessible to the police departments as well as the Child Welfare Committees in all districts. The website has to be made accessible, maintained and updated eventually at the block police headquarters, says the letter.

On shelter homes run by the government, for those in need of care and protection as well as for those in conflict with law, Ms. Sinha said the condition of children in most cases was pathetic and often in violation of children’s rights.

Victims of abuse

“There are lapses in terms of children’s health, nutrition, education and other entitlements. Children are also victims of physical and sexual abuse and emotional harassment. Indeed, institutions that are meant to safeguard children have been found to breach the norms of care,’’ the letter said, asking the State governments to inform the Commission of the processes put in place for enabling a child-centred and friendly environment. The NCPCR demanded to know from the States whether they had issued circulars or guidelines to enable child participation and listening to them and whether there was a system of participation and involvement of non-governmental organisations and non-officials in reviewing the functioning of the shelter homes.

More In: National | News