NHRC issues the advisory for Protection of the Rights of Children in the context of COVID-19 (2.0)

Jun 09, 2021 | by Avantis RegTech Legal Research Team

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EHS Compliance

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)  on June 2, 2021 has issued the advisory for Protection of the Rights of Children in the context of COVID-19 (2.0). The State Governments/UT Administrations will provide an Action Taken Reports on the specific measures undertaken and implemented to safeguard the rights of children in view of the conditions imposed by the pandemic.

The following broad aspects concerned under the advisory for Protection of the Rights of Children in the context of COVID-19 (2.0) are as follows: -

• Health of Children 

• Strengthe n pediatrics COVID hospitals and protocols - All the hospitals should prominently display contact information of CHILDLINE (1098), local Child Welfare Committee (CWC), District Child Protection Unit (DCPU), local police, etc. 

• Vaccination coverage of health workers and frontline staff- Necessary personal protective equipment must be ensured to prevent transmission of the vims to children who come in contact with them.

• Psycho-Social Support (PSS) - Children who are isolated in COVID-care facilities and hospitals will require psycho-social support as they spend weeks away from their family in a different environment.

• Training of ground-level workers

• Food & nutrition- all children have uninterrupted access to nutritious food to prevent hunger and malnutrition.

• Data services

• Education of Children

• Universalization of digital facilities to ensure access to online education for all children - 

• Monitoring mechanism - Develop a mechanism to monitor whether the budget allocation and provision of required devices/resources have enabled children from the vulnerable socio-economic background to participate fully in online classes.

• School drop-out - Take all necessary steps to ensure that children do not drop out of school due to the circumstances imposed by the pandemic forcing them to enter into child Labour, child marriage, or fall prey to mishaps such as trafficking.

• Training to teachers - Impart training to teachers in a time bound manner so that they may effectively conduct online classes and carry out everyday school functioning through the digital mode until such time physical presence in schools is possible.

• Online safety of children- Take appropriate measures for online safety of children in line with (lie PRAGYATA Guidelines for Digital Education6 issued by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

• Children within institutional care - Ensure provision of education through digital technology for all children within institutional care according to the COVID-19 framework for online education till the schools are reopened.

• Children with disability - Ensure that online classes are inclusive for and accessible to the children with disabilities.

• Mental health professionals/ counsellors

• Data services

• Children in Child Care Institutions (CCIs)

• Establishment of Special Quarantine Centres for Children from CCIs - identify and establish quarantine centres for children tested positive for COV1D that are equipped with all essential facilities including oximeters, piped oxygen, medicines, and regular visits by trained health workers.

• Protocols for Prevention and Safety - Take measures to ensure adequate supplies and protective gear for maintaining sanitation, ensuring hygiene, disinfection, and safety of children in the institution.

• Access to support persons- Ensure that children have access to family members/ lawyers/ counsellors either through visits while maintaining COVID protocols, or through telephone/ video conferencing. 

• Proceedings through digital mode - CWCs and JJBs should conduct proceedings through digital mode while ensuring data security, physical distancing, and adherence to the principles and procedures prescribed under the JJ Act and Model/ State Rules.

• Social Audits and Inspections of CCI

• Frontline Workers - State Governments should prepare protocols for social audits and inspections of CCIs so that the same are conducted safely during the pandemic.

• Data services

• Children orphaned during the COVID-19 pandemic

• Kinship cars – In case of death of both parents where family or kinship care is not available and the child(ren) is found orphaned without any support, ensure that the child is immediately produced before the CWC.

• Adoption- District authorities should ensure that adoption should only be as per the rules prescribed by Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA).

• Rehabilitation of children

• Strengthening sponsorship and foster care- the State Government must work to strengthen sponsorship and foster care to prevent institutionalization of children who lost their parent(s) during the pandemic, who might have been the sole breadwinner of the family.

• Social protection- District Magistrates to take steps for supportingfamilies economically that have lost either of the parents by linking them to existing social protection schemes and policies within 4-6 weeks of the death of the parent.

• Information dissemination - '. Information about the services and facilities available for children who have lost their parent(s) due to COVID including contact information of CWC, CHILDLINE, and DCPU, and appropriate procedures for legal adoption should be displayed widely and prominently at suitable locations at the district.

• Abandoned children

• Data

[Notification No - R-17/8/2020-PRP&P-Part (4)]

 


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