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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Child rights body comes up with new norms to keep minors safe

Atul Mathur, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 22, 2013
First Published: 23:56 IST(22/4/2013) | Last Updated: 02:00 IST(23/4/2013)

People with a history of sexual or physical violence will not be allowed to take up a job at an educational, social or religious institution.

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All such institutions will have to get their new employees verified by the police, apart from testing their attitude towards children and their knowledge on child abuse and various laws related to it.

With a spurt in the cases of sexual abuse with minors, the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) has come up with a set of guidelines for the prevention of child abuse.

Senior Delhi government officials said the DCPCR has now invited public opinion and objections on draft guidelines.

The guidelines also say the teachers and staff will not be allowed to email or call children except and unless it is related to school work and all emails sent to children by them should be should be copied to the guardians. The guidelines discourage teachers from engaging in any relationships with students on social media platforms unless in "officially approved group settings". 

"The DCPCR will soon send us the final guidelines after accommodating the objections and suggestions from general public and we will implement the guidelines soon," said a senior Delhi government official.

The guidelines, which run into 107 pages, has a detailed dos and don'ts for educational, religious, professional and social institutions that deal with minors.

The guidelines insist on development of mandatory teacher training module to cover a broad spectrum of child protection issues, ranging from recognising suspicious behaviour, children with erratic or unusual behaviour, etc. All such institutions should also have a counsellor on their payrolls.

"All schools must ensure a female ward on the bus until the last child is dropped home. In hostels, there should be separate bathrooms at a suitable distance for boys and girls and CCTV cameras at appropriate public spaces within the premises," the guidelines say. 

As per the guidelines, the schools will also not be allowed to plan surprise excursions and seek permission from guardians.

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