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SC Directs States, Asks to Stress On Steps To Rehabilitate Children

street children
Image used for representation Purpose only: Credit- Pixabay

On Monday, in a suo motu case regarding the plight of street children (CIS) across the country, the Supreme Court directed state governments and union territories to complete the identification process without any delay. The Supreme Court clarified that the State Governments and Union Territories need not wait for any further direction to proceed to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) or the subsequent steps laid down by the NCPCR in the SOP 2.0 developed by the Court.

A bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and B.V. Nagarathna said: “We direct all DMs to involve DLSA and voluntary organisations in the identification of children on streets without any further delay.”

It added that immediate steps are required by the Central and state governments to provide shelter to children in street situations. It emphasised that children should be shifted to shelter homes and also directed the DMs to upload the information at all stages on the web portal of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).

“As the implementation of directions issued by this court on earlier occasions relating to identification and rehabilitation does not brook further delay, we direct all DMs to involve DLSA and voluntary organisations in the identification of children on streets without any further delay. The DMs are also directed to upload the information at all stages on the web portal of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)/(Baal Swaraj),” the bench said.

Citing harsh winters, the bench said there are children who don’t have anybody to take care of them and their condition would become worse in northern parts. “Just imagine how they are surviving on the streets. You have to immediately shift them to Rain Basera shelter homes. This is your duty…Act immediately,” said the bench.

Also, citing the third wave of Covid-19, the top court said it cannot become an excuse for the delay in the rehabilitation of children in street situations, and reiterated that children cannot be ignored.

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