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Delhi government gives NGOs bigger role in child protection framework

AMBIKA PANDIT IN THE TIMES OF INDIA

NEW DELHI: The Delhi government has decided to give voluntary organizations involved in rescue and rehabilitation of children a larger role in the investigation process and monitoring of cases.

The department of women and child development has directed the child welfare committees and superintendents of child care institutions to allow NGOs to be part of investigation proceedings and also gives them the authority to submit reports on cases assigned to them.

This order is an attempt to reinforce the existing child protection mechanism in order to bring in transparency and accountability at a time when cases of missing children, trafficking and child labor are on the rise.

The directions from the department of women and child development issued on September 20 states, “Any NGO involved in rescue operation of children from situations which lead to exploitation, abuse or trafficking, and if willing to volunteer to assist and follow-up in the process of investigation and rehabilitation of the children, should be encouraged and allowed to do so by the Child Welfare Committees. Such NGOs shall depute a representative to be present on the day of proceedings before the Child Welfare Committee. The voluntary organization shall submit the progress reports in the cases assigned to them, as and when required.”  The order goes on to add that a home study of the children belonging to states other than Delhi should be coordinated through ‘Childline India Foundation’. Assistance of concerned NGOs can also be taken in case there is no ‘Childline’ service in any district or state.

“Chairpersons of the child welfare committees and superintendents of child care institutions should provide the status of the rescued children placed under institutional care, rehabilitated or restored to their parents or guardians to the concerned NGOs as and when requested. “Copies of the order in respect of deportation or restoration of children belonging to a foreign country should also be provided to the concerned NGOs,” the directive from the women and child development department adds.

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