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Guidelines to ensure safety of children in hostels

Topics Covered:

  1. Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
  2. Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.


Guidelines to ensure safety of children in hostels


What to study?

  • For Prelims: Key facts on guidelines and JJ Act, 2015.
  • For Mains: Need for guidelines, review of JJ Act and measures needed to ensure the welfare of children.


Context: The Ministry of Women and Child Development will soon formulate guidelines for children’s hostels, prescribing the minimum standards of care that should be provided to the children.



The decision comes at a time when institutions, housing children on the request of parents at children’s homes, are not registering under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

Also, the Supreme Court, in the case of “Exploitation of Children in Orphanages in the State of Tamil Nadu” Vs. Union of India, had directed the Union and the State Governments to enforce minimum standards of care required for such children living in any facility either created by the Government system or by civil society organisations.


What next?

The Ministry has directed the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to draft the guidelines in consultation with stakeholders concerned. The guidelines will be notified under the Juvenile Justice Act or the JJ Rules.


About the Juveniles Justice Act, 2015:

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 came into force in January, 2016. The new Act repeals the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. The JJ Act, 2015 provides for strengthened provisions for both children in need of care and protection and children in conflict with law.


Key provisions:

Definition: The Act clearly defines and classifies offences as petty, serious and heinous, and defines differentiated processes for each category. Keeping in view the increasing number of serious offences being committed by persons in the age group of 16-18 years and recognizing the rights of the victims as being equally important as the rights of juveniles, special provisions are incorporated in the Act to tackle heinous offences committed by individuals in this age group.

It establishes a statutory status for the Child Adoption Resources Authority (CARA). It also proposes several rehabilitation and social integration measures for institutional and non-institutional children. It provides for sponsorship and foster care as completely new measures.

Mandatory registration of all institutions engaged in providing child care is required according to the Act. New offences including illegal adoption, corporal punishment in child care institutions, the use of children by militant groups, and offences against disabled children are also incorporated in the legislation.

The new law gives the Juvenile Justice Board the power to assess whether the perpetrator of a heinous crime aged between 16 and 18, had acted as a ‘child’ or as an ‘adult.’ The board will be assisted in this process by psychologists and social experts.

It strikes a fine balance between the demands of the stakeholders asking for continued protection of rights of juveniles and the popular demand of citizens in the light of increasing incidence of heinous crimes by young boys.


Sources: the hindu.


Mains Question:

  1. The incidents of rampant physical and sexual abuse of minors in childcare institutions (CCIs) and shelter homes reveal how the state as well as the civil society have failed in their role as protectors and watchdogs. Comment.
  2. Critically comment on the important provisions of the new Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.