AMELIORATING STANDARDS OF HUMAN RIGHTS: CHILDREN IN SHELTER HOMES

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Re: Exploitation of Children in Orphanages in the State of Tamil Nadu v. Union of India and Others: A 2017 Supreme Court ruling on Sexual Abuse of Children in Orphanages.

This article is written by Ipsita Rout 4th year student of KIIT School of Law and curated by Himanshu Raj of CNLU.

BACKGROUND

Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005 – Sections 3,13, 16,17, 24; Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 – Section 2(14), Section 41, 44, 45, 53, 54; Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009; Protection of Children From Sexual Offences Act, 2012 – Section 44, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection Of Children) Act, 2000 [Repealed]; Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956; Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987; National Food Security Act, 2013; Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2007 – Rule 64; Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Model Rules, 2016 – Rule 19, Rule 21, 26, 41, and 89; Constitution of India – Article 39; Adoption Regulations, 2017; Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005.

FACTS OF THE CASE

The case arose when Ms. Anjali Sinha (Amicus Curiae of the Court for this case) wrote an article for the Hindustan Newspaper on the topic of sexual abuse towards children in orphanages & other places, by the NGOs and shelter homes protected by the government. It showed instances of Sex trafficking of children that was decided via telephonic communication and other instances of sexual abuse towards the orphans in Tamil Nadu. A PIL was filed by a noble citizen and the court took the case. The first instance of opening of this case dealt with children under three categories- trafficking, on streets and in need of assistance by the government. The case was closed in 2013 after in depth deliberations, funds were sanctioned, many statutes were referred upon alongside cases, and the court established organisations and establishments to adhere to minimum standards of care needed by the children after scrutinization of the gravity of circumstances of mistreatment to children- in schools, shelter homes, NGOs etc. The case was closed in 2013.

The Case was reopened in 2017, and it was found that the progress on the safety of children was marginal and the responsibility enshrined upon the government of States and Union Territory was questioned, and it was concluded by the courts that there was no justification by the ratio of progress and funds sanctions for Children Safety. This is where one of the most important things, which is the key in this case, was brought up- the concept of regular Social Audits by an intermediary organisation and hence more committees were formed to restore order and check progress of this case.

COURT RULING

The definition of a “child in need of care and protection” in section 2 (14) of the Juvenile Justice Act is illustrative and cannot be taken as an exhaustive definition. The Court ordered the Government of the Union and the governments of the States and Territories of the Union to obey those instructions and was directed to implement the basic quality of treatment in compliance with the terms of the Juvenile Justice Act and the Model Rules and to set a deadline for frowning on the same excessive spending of grants.

ANALYSIS & CONCLUSION

Children are tomorrow’s hope and today’s light- whether they are your own, or if you are one: whether you live at home or streets or shelter, you deserve a life of dignity and freedom to make your own choices. This case is a precedent to all children reforms that are to come in the modern-day Indian society. The concept of social audits is just like a class representative or monitor looking after the smooth functioning of all events of the day. It binds the government accountable and affirms the faith that children are safe everywhere. Ms. Anjali’s article brought about one of the socially extravagant reforms to the life of all children in our country.

 

 

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