Published: 19th April 2022
Supreme Court asks NCPCR to take help of NGOs in identifying children in street situations
The bench also stated that NCPCR should take the help of individuals or organisations who are keen on offering assistance in identifying children
Concerned about children who are the victims of child trafficking, the Supreme Court urged the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to involve NGOs and individuals working in the field of child rights in identifying children in street situations. This happened on Monday, April 18.
A bench comprising of Justices L Nageshwara Rao and BR Gavai stated that for almost one and a half years, the court had been monitoring the situation but the progress has not been satisfactory, as stated in a report by PTI.
“We are still at the identification stage, we are not moving forward,” the bench said.
Salman Khurshid, a senior advocate, who appeared for one of the intervenors, implored the apex court to involve the civil society in the identification of children in street situations.
He also submitted that as per the Juvenile Justice Act, 2005, NGOs had to be involved in the procedure concerning children in need of care.
The bench also stated that NCPCR should take the help of individuals or organisations who are keen on offering assistance in identifying children.
“The government cannot do whatever it has to under the statute and if there is somebody who wants to come forward to help the cause, you should associate them… There are organisations and individuals who have been spending all their time on this. You should actively associate with them," the bench said.
Appearing on the behalf of the NCPCR, the Additional Solicitor General KM Nataraj informed the top court that they were considering seeking help from law schools in identifying children in street situations.
Earlier, the apex court directed states and Union Territories to link children orphaned due to the COVID-19 pandemic and their family members to various welfare schemes.
Concerned for the Children in Street Situations (CISS) who had lost their parents due to COVID-19, the apex court had taken suo motu cognisance
Previously, the apex court had directed that the testimonies of children, who were the victims of child trafficking, need to be recorded through the video conference. It can be recorded either at the district court complex or the office of the District Legal Services Authority in the district where the child was residing.
It also stated that it was concerned about the difficulties of victims of trafficking when it comes to travelling long distances to give evidence in trial courts.