INTEGRATED CHILDREN PROTECTION SCHEME
Context: Ministry of Women and Child Development is implementing a centrally sponsored Child Protection Services (CPS) Scheme (erstwhile Integrated Child Protection Scheme) for supporting the children in difficult circumstances.
As per the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, orphanand destitute children in the country are “Children in need of care and protection (CNCP)”. The primary responsibility of execution of the Act lies with the States/UTs. ABOUT THE SCHEME The Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) is a centrally sponsored scheme which is aimed at building a protective environment for children in difficult circumstances, as well as other vulnerable children, through Government-Civil Society Partnership. The primary responsibility of implementation of the Child Protection Scheme lies with the State Governments/UT Administrations. Under the provisions of the CPS, Central Government is providing financial assistance to the States/UTs for undertaking a situational analysis of children in difficult circumstances, inter-alia. Under the scheme institutional care to Children in need of care and protection and Children in Conflict with Law is provided in Child Care Institutions (CCIs). The scheme also provides for non-institutional care wherein support is extended for adoption, foster care and sponsorship. The scheme set up a child protection data management system in order to formulate and implement effective intervention strategies and monitor their outcomes. The key features of the revised Scheme included increased maintenance grant for children in homes, from Rs.750 to Rs.2000 per child per month. The ICPS was renamed as CPS as sub-scheme under Umbrella Integrated Child Development Services w.e.f. 1st April, 2017, as communicated vide Government order dated 20th November, 2017. Following modifications have come into effect pursuant to the said order: (i) Maintenance grant for children in homes was enhanced to Rs.2160 per child per month, (ii) Sitting allowance of Child Welfare Committee and Juvenile Justice Board’s members has been enhanced from Rs.1000/- to Rs.1500/- in accordance with new JJ Model Rules, 2016 and (iii) Programmatic allocation for Childline India Foundation Head office and four regional Centres, was increased by Rs.9.70 Crore for protection services of CHILDLINE, to address expansion and emerging protection needs. ABOUT JUVENILE JUSTICE (CARE AND PROTECTION OF CHILDREN) ACT, 2015 The Bill was introduced by Maneka Gandhi in July 2014, the then Minister of Women and Child Development. The Act came into force from 15 January 2016. It replaced the Indian juvenile delinquency law, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, and allows for juveniles in conflict with Law in the age group of 16–18, involved in Heinous Offences, to be tried as adults. The Delhi gang rape case in December 2012 had tremendous impact on public perception of the Act. One of the accused in the 2012 Delhi gang rape was a few months younger than 18 years of age and under the Act was tried in a juvenile court. A revamped Juvenile Justice Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on 7 May 2015. The new bill will allow minors in the age group of 16-18 to be tried as adults if they commit heinous crimes. The Act also sought to create a universally accessible adoption law for India, overtaking the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act (1956) (applicable to Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs) and the Guardians and Wards Act (1890) (applicable to Muslims), though not replacing them. To streamline adoption procedures for orphan, abandoned and surrendered children, the existing Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) has been given the status of a statutory body in order to enable it to perform its function more effectively. Key Provisions of the Bill
- The bill will allow a Juvenile Justice Board, which would include psychologists and sociologists, to decide whether a juvenile criminal in the age group of 16–18 should be tried as an adult or not.
- The bill introduced concepts from the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption, 1993 which were missing in the previous act.
- The bill introduces foster care in India. Families will sign up for foster care and abandoned, orphaned children, or those in conflict with the law will be sent to them.
- A person giving alcohol or drugs to a child shall be punished with 7 years imprison and/or Rs 100,000 fine. Corporal punishment will be punishable by Rs 50,000 or 3 years of imprisonment. A person selling a child will be fined with Rs 100,000 and imprisoned for 5 years.
- One of the most criticized step in the new JJ Bill 2015 is introduction of “Judicial Waiver System” which allows treatment of juveniles, in certain conditions, in the adult criminal justice system and to punish them as adults. This is for the first time in India’s history that such a provision has been prescribed.
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