In a move to check the rising trend of child trafficking, Parliament on Tuesday passed an act to limit child adoption in the country to citizens of India only.
A bill to amend the Juvenile Justice (care and protection of children) Act, 2000 was adopted by Rajya Sabha with a voice vote. Lok Sabha had earlier put its stamp of approval on the legislation.
During a spirited reply to the short debate on the bill, the Minister for women and child welfare Renuka Choudhary said the Government proposed to bring in a comprehensive legislation on child welfare to give them more protection.
She said laws would also be made stricter to create greater vigil to check the spreading menace of paedophilism as reports indicated that numbers of known paedophiles were masquerading as tourists to indulge in child trafficking.
The minister said while in-house adoption would be encouraged, inter-country adoption could also be considered. A national campaign would be started to inform various segments of the society on the Juvenile Justice Act, she added.
Government also proposed to implement child labour laws more strictly to banish the menace from the country.
She said the police would be sensitised and familiarised on the Act and suggested 33 per cent more women in police force to deal with crime against children.
The Minister said while Government is for a stricter adoption law, anybody can adopt any child irrespective of their religion.
Earlier, members cutting across party lines made a strong case for formulation of stricter guidelines for adoption of children to guard against their sexual exploitation and improvements in living conditions of child homes all over the country.