Child rights organisations and civil society representatives have written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking his intervention in the selection of the chairperson and members to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights NCPCR).

As the NCPCR, the National Human Rights Commission and the National Commission for Women are important mechanisms set up to play a critical watchdog role, it is imperative to ensure proper and fair selection to these statutory bodies, says the citizens' appeal. It has been made following allegations of irregularities, malpractices and lack of transparency in the NCPCR selection process.

It has pointed out that the rules framed under the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act 2005 have failed to lay down a detailed selection process, leaving scope for favouritism and undemocratic and non-transparent methods of selection. The result: selection of undeserving candidates.

This has caused a great loss to the children who have waited all these years to find a body of people who could act as their ombudsmen, says the appeal. “India ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1992, reiterating its commitment to its children.

The setting up of the Commission was a welcome step in this regard. However, the very first Commission was marred by an improper selection process. Neither was it complete.” Once again the same mistake is being repeated as the selection of the second Commission commences, says the statement. It has also recommended an amendment to the NCPCR Act, 2005 through wide consultations to remove discrepancies.

The appeal has been signed by representatives of HAQ: the Centre for Child Rights, Butterflies, Pratidhi, Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms, the Human Rights Law Network, the Rahi Foundation, Women's Coalition Trust and the Joint Women's Programme, Arvind Kejriwal (RTI activist) and advocate Aparna Bhat.

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