Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Child rights panel to hold public hearing in State

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By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is not happy with the state government for overlooking the issue of child rights and is contemplating to hold a public hearing in the State to address the various issues where the government has failed in protecting the rights of children.

A member of the NCPCR team visiting the state, Dr Yogesh Dube has said government officials will be summoned during the public hearing to clarify on various complaints regarding the failure to protect children from various kinds of exploitations.

“This would be the best option to make government officials accountable since they will have to reply in front of those people who have lodged the complaints,” Dube said while speaking to reporters after the two-member NCPCR team met the Social Welfare department officials and members of various NGOs working in the field of protection of child rights here on Monday.

When asked about the complaints the commission has received on violation of child rights in the State, Dube informed that the complaints were related to child labour, child abuse, violation of children’s right to education among a host of other issues.

Admitting that prevalence of child labour and bonded labour in the coal mining areas of Jaintia Hills is a matter of concerned for the commission, NCPCR member said the NCPCR would like to see the State Government take some proactive steps to ensure there was no child labour in all the coal mining areas of the State.

The NCPCP member said the government’s defence that it had no control over the activities in the coal mining areas where the coal business was under direct control of private parties due to the peculiar land tenure system, was not tenable since it was duty bound to take initiatives to tackle the problem of child labour.

On the issue of the failure on the part of the government to set up shelter homes for street children, the NCPCR member said that it was shocking to learn that the government is yet to set up a proper shelter home for orphans and street children.

“The failure of the government to construct shelter homes is not justified considering the volume of fund the State is getting from the Centre,” he said.

The NCPCR member also stated that the commission would ensure that a Juvenile Board was in place and see that Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act 1986 and Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act 1976 were strictly implemented in the State. He would meet the state Chief Secretary WMS Pariat and other senior government officials on Tuesday.

Later in the day, the NCPCR team made a surprise inspection of the Meghalaya Hindu Mission Orphanage in view of a complaint filed by city-based impulse NGO Network regarding alleged ill-treatment of children lodged in the orphanage. The commission team took statement of a boy who had been allegedly abused in the orphanage.

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