Child rights panel, NGO tie up for aftercare to juveniles
The Delhi child rights panel is all set to launch its ‘Aftercare for Youth’ programme along with the Delhi government for inmates of shelter homes after they turn 18 years of age.
The programme aims to rehabilitate these youth who have been in conflict with law and enable them to join mainstream society. The project will help them find a vocation or pursue higher education, depending on their needs, so that they could earn a living.
The child rights panel and Udayan Care, an NGO, have developed a single window system where child care institutions (CCIs) would be able to update details of inmates who are leaving the institution every month.
“At present, the aftercare and pre-aftercare services in the city are inadequate. The project will be launched on a pilot basis. We will go through details such as the background of the youth and interventions will be based on their needs,” a Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) member said.
The system for pre-aftercare needs an overhaul. It should start at the level of CCIs when the inmates are 14 years of age so that plans for their future can be worked upon, the member said.
The move has come after a recent study conducted by the DCPCR and Udayan Care, on situation of aftercare for youth in the city found that most inmates had to struggle to make a living or even to get enrolled in educational institutions once they leave shelter homes.
“It was found that most youth could not find viable employment options or were subjected to violence and abuse once they were out of homes. The project will help us identify young adults and monitor their rehabilitation,” Rita Singh, DCPCR member, said.
In 2017, the central government had come out with new guidelines for aftercare of juveniles in conflict with law after incarceration. The guidelines provide for effective rehabilitation as well as a tracking system for minimum of three years after they come out of homes.
The guidelines had come after procedural flaws were found in the handling of the juvenile convict in the 2012 gang-rape case.
The research report titled ‘Situation of Aftercare Youth in Delhi’ was released by deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia in December 2018. The report revealed that most care leavers are unable to access adequate housing, health services, skills, employment benefits and social security.
Those who started earning, on average, fetched salaries of around ₹10,000 –₹12,000, way lower than the minimum wage of ₹13, 896, as fixed by the government for unskilled workers in Delhi, the report said.
Also, it said there is no tracking or follow-up mechanism for care leavers in Delhi. Most inmates leaving shelter homes did not have legal documents of identification, which is a major problem leading to missed opportunities while looking for jobs or applying to educational institutions.