Rights panel chief cautions against social media posts about orphaned children
National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) chairperson Priyank Kanoongo has cautioned against social media posts seeking help or donations for children, who may have lost their parents to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“People must understand the procedure. Right now, the need of the hour is to ensure that the children must be produced before the child welfare committees. Each child’s case will require a different sort of intervention and will be analysed separately. Whether the children are taken to a welfare home or sent to reside with a relative, all will be decided on a case-to-case basis,” said Kanoongo on Wednesday.
Kanoongo said adoptions cannot be done without going through proper channels. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act also empowers the district magistrates to authorise adoptions.
Kanoongo said the NCPCR has written to states to ensure timely involvement in cases of orphaned children. NCPCR has also called for roping in frontline workers, police officials, NGOs, and even NITI Aayog to help vulnerable children.
“We have asked the states to apprise us of how many children may have been exposed to such a difficult situation due to the pandemic...,” Kanoongo said.
In its letter dated May 2, a copy of which HT has seen, NCPCR directed the states to ask NGOs to share the details of children who have lost their parents. “The Commission has been made aware of instances where it has been seen that many NGOs are advertising about the children who have become orphan... In such a sad situation of the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country, there are situations arising where the child has lost both its parents and is found to be abandoned,” NCPCR said in the letter. “It is of utmost importance that these children who have lost their family support must be produced before the child protection authorities of the district and information about these children must be shared with the authorities.”
Union minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday asked people to alert the authorities about vulnerable children. “If you come to know of any child who has lost both parents to Covid and has no one to take care of her/him, inform Police or Child Welfare Committee of your district or contact Childline 1098. It is your legal responsibility,” Irani tweeted. “It is illegal to give or take orphan children of anyone else in adoption. Such children should be taken to child welfare committee, which will take necessary action in the best interest of the child.”
Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights on Tuesday said orphaned children are vulnerable to trafficking.