The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) was set up in March 2007 under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005, an Act of Parliament (December 2005). The Commission's Mandate is to ensure that all Laws, Policies, Programmes, and Administrative Mechanisms are in consonance with the Child Rights perspective as enshrined in the Constitution of India and also the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Child is defined as a person in the 0 to 18 years age group.
The Commission visualises a rights-based perspective flowing into National Policies and Programmes, along with nuanced responses at the State, District and Block levels, taking care of specificities and strengths of each region. In order to touch every child, it seeks a deeper penetration to communities and households and expects that the ground experiences inform the support the field receives from all the authorities at the higher level. Thus the Commission sees an indispensable role for the State, sound institution-building processes, respect for decentralization at the level of the local bodies at the community level and larger societal concern for children and their well-being.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) emphasises the principle of universality and inviolability of child rights and recognises the tone of urgency in all the child related policies of the country. For the Commission, protection of all children in the 0 to 18 years age group is of equal importance. Thus, policies define priority actions for the most vulnerable children. This includes focus on regions that are backward or on communities or children under certain circumstances, and so on. The NCPCR believes that while in addressing only some children, there could be a fallacy of exclusion of many vulnerable children who may not fall under the defined or targeted categories. In its translation into practice, the task of reaching out to all children gets compromised and a societal tolerance of violation of child rights continues. This would in fact have an impact on the program for the targeted population as well. Therefore, it considers that it is only in building a larger atmosphere in favour of protection of children's rights, that children who are targeted become visible and gain confidence to access their entitlements.
Likewise, for the Commission, every right the child enjoys is seen as mutually-reinforcing and interdependent. Therefore the issue of gradation of rights does not arise. A child enjoying all her rights at her 18th year is dependent on the access to all her entitlements from the time she is born. Thus policies interventions assume significance at all stages. For the Commission, all the rights of children are of equal importance.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) was set up in March 2007 as a statutory body under the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005 (4 of 2006), an Act of Parliament (December 2005). It was set up to protect, promote and defend child rights in the country.
The functions of the Commission as laid out in the Act are as follows:
The Commission shall perform all or any of the following functions, namely;
- Examine and review the safeguards provided by or under any law for the time being in force for the protection of child rights and recommend measures for their effective implementation.
- Present to the Central Government, annually and at such other intervals, as the Commission may deem fit, Reports upon the working of those safeguards.
- Inquire into violation of child rights and recommend initiation of proceedings in such cases.
- Examine all factors that inhibit the enjoyment of rights of children affected by terrorism, communal violence, riots, natural disasters, domestic violence, HIV/ AIDS, trafficking, maltreatment, torture and exploitation, pornography, and prostitution and recommend appropriate remedial measures.
- Look into matters relating to children in need of special care and protection, including children in distress, marginalised and disadvantaged children, children in conflict with law, juveniles, children without family and children of prisoners and recommend appropriate remedial measures.
- Study treaties and other international instruments and undertake periodic review of existing policies, programmes, and other activities on child rights and make recommendations for their effective implementation in the best interest of children.
- Undertake and promote research in the field of child rights.
- Spread child rights literacy among various sections of society and promote awareness of the safeguards available for protection of these rights through publications, media, seminars and other available means.
- Inspect or cause to be inspected any juvenile custodial home or any other place of residence or institution meant for children, under the control of the Central Government or any State Government or any other authority including any institution run by a social organization, where children are detained or lodged for the purpose of treatment, reformation or protection and take up with these authorities for remedial action, if found necessary.
- Inquire into complaints and take sup moto notice of matters related to:
- Deprivation and violation of child rights
- Non implementation of laws providing for protection and development of children
- Non compliance of policy decisions, guidelines or instructions aimed at mitigating hardships to and ensuring welfare of the children and to provide relief to such children or take up the issues arising out of such matters with appropriate authorities
- Such other functions as it may consider necessary for the promotion of child rights and any other matter incidental to the above functions. The Commission, while enquiring into any matter, has all powers of the Civil Court trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedures, 1908 and in particular, with respect to the following matters:
- Summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person from any part of India and examining them on oath
- Requiring the discovery and production of any documents
- Receiving evidence on Affidavits
- Requisitioning of any Public Record or copy thereof from any Court of Office
- Issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents
- Forwarding cases to Magistrates who have jurisdiction to try the same
- On completion of inquiry, the Commission has the powers to take the following actions:
- To recommend to concerned Government for initiation of proceedings for prosecution or other suitable action on finding any violation of child rights and provisions of law during the course of an inquiry
- To approach the Supreme Court or the High Court concerned for such directions, orders or writs as that Court may deem necessary
- To recommend to concerned Government or authority for grant of such interim relief to the victim or the members of his family as considered necessary