There are numerous provisions in the Indian Constitution that impose the primary responsibility on the state to promote the welfare of children and ensure their dignity and sustainability in the society.
• Article 14 of the Indian Constitution ensures that every citizen including man, woman and child are equal in the realm of law.
• Article 15 of the constitution provides for prohibition of discrimination and along with that it also empowers the state to make special provisions for women and children.
• Article 21A makes it mandatory for the state to provide and promote free and compulsory education to children in the 6-14 age group.
• Article 23 prohibits trafficking of Human beings and forced labour.
• Article 24 prohibits Child Labour and the employment of children below 14 years of age in factories, mines or other hazardous work environments.
Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP)
• Article 39(e) of the constitution enjoins the State to ensure that the health and strength of workers, men and women and the tender age of children are not abused.
• Article 39(f) directs the State to ensure that children are provided with opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner It directs the State to ensure that children develop in a free and dignified environment and that their childhood and youth is protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.
• Article 45 provides for the State’s duty to ensure early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years.
i. Furthering the vision of the UNCRC, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 is India’s fundamental law in dealing with children in need of care and protection. It caters to their needs through care, protection, development, treatment, social reintegration, through its child-friendly approach by addressing matters in the best interest of children.
Ii. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), 2012 is one of the Indian government’s most progressive laws, to combat sexual violence against children. POCSO qualifies penetrative sexual assault on a child below the age of 12 as aggravated penetrative sexual assault, a crime punishable with a fine and a minimum term of rigorous imprisonment for 10 years, which can be extended to life imprisonment.
Iii. The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013’s introduction of several new sexual offences under the Indian Penal Act, such as Section 376(2)(i), IPC, which punishes rape of a female under 16 years is considered an aggravated form of rape punishable with a fine and a minimum term of rigorous imprisonment for 10 years, which can be extended to life imprisonment
Handful of NGO is tirelessly dedicated to the protection the children for being pushed into child labour, children abuse, children trafficked, children affected by post trauma. They rescue them from various kinds of harms namely abuse, neglect, physical danger, exploitation and violence even provide shelter and food. Surprisingly they are accomplishing astounding work then any government bodies.