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07 May 2017

SC: Every child must have welfare benefits

SC enhances ambit of Juvenile Justice Act

The Supreme Court broadened the ambit of the Juvenile Justice Act stating that every child in need must get welfare benefits.

The court sought to broaden the definition of "children in need" to ensure that all categories of children in need of care are protected under the act.

The court added that there should be a regularly updated registry of children in need.

In context

SC enhances ambit of Juvenile Justice Act

Why now?

The Supreme Court was hearing a petition on the state of affairs in orphanages in several states, where a systematic sexual abuse of children was going on. The SC was suggesting remedial measures to overhaul child protective services in India.

Abysmal state of affairs for Indian children


Abysmal state of affairs for Indian children

According to a report filed by the Ministry of Women and Children, every third malnourished child in the world lives in India and every second Indian child is underweight.

With 58 deaths per 1000 live births, India also has a high infant mortality rate.

It also has a relatively low immunization coverage for diseases like polio, measles, etc.

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What did the court say?

The SC issued a slew of directives to the government to improve the state of affairs for children in the country.

Most importantly it asked the government to register all child-care homes and services in the country and also prepare a state-wise list of children in need.

It said all vacancies in the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights be filled-up this year.

Ensure vocational training, skill development

The court asked the respective state governments to take advantage of Central skill development and vocational training schemes. It said "States and UTs must concentrate on rehabilitation and social re-integration of children."

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