The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has written a letter to the chief secretary of all states and union territories regarding the issue of children who have become orphan due to the death of both parents due to COVID-19.
The commission has requested that if any such information for an abandoned or orphaned child is received by any entity, organisation or NGO then the same can be also be informed to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights either through email (email@example.com) or through telephone (011-23478250) for assistance and help to the children.
This information can also be shared with the respective state commissions of the said state and UT for the same. NCPCR said that they have been made aware of instances where it has been seen that many NGOs are advertising about the children who have become orphans after losing both their parents to COVID-19.
“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 or is found to be abandoned. It may be noted that the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 provides for the procedure to be followed for children who have lost their family support and have become a child in need of care and protection,” it said in a letter.
The procedure under the JJ Act, 2015 ensures that the child is provided with all the minimum standards of care and the rights of such child are upheld and protected.
Therefore, 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.
“These children who have lost family support due to COVID-19 or are found to be abandoned due to the loss of parents to COVID-19 are a child in need of care and protection as per the JJ Act, 2015 and such children must be produced before the Child Welfare Committee as per Section 31 of JJ Act, 2015, so that necessary orders for the care of the child can be passed,” it said.
The commission further said that every individual, entity, organisation, NGO must ensure that if any such information is received for orphaned and abandoned children by them during these COVID times, then the same must be informed to the childline helpline number 1098 and the child must be produced before the Child Welfare Committee of the district.
NCPCR is a statutory body constituted under Section 3 of the Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005 to protect child rights and other related matters in the Country.
The Commission is further mandated to monitor the proper and effective implementation of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012; Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and Right to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009.