NATIONAL LEGAL RESEARCH DESK
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) celebrated its fifth Foundation day today at New Delhi.
The day saw the release of a set of Guidelines on Corporal Punishment. The guidelines include some measures for affirmative action in schools towards positive development of children, for positive engagement with children, for creating an environment conducive to learning and for mechanisms and processes to give children a voice and engage in the process of creating a positive environment as well as for accountability and multi-sectoral responsibility. It considered physical punishment, mental harassment and discrimination of children causing both physical and mental harassment as corporal punishment.
“The release of the Guidelines on eliminating Corporal Punishment in Schools is a commendable initiative by the Commission. These guidelines will serve as an important tool for sensitisation and creating awareness on the subject amongst various stakeholders,’’ said Ms. Krishna Tirath, Honorable Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Women and Child Development, while releasing the guidelines.
“The guidelines released today are a comprehensive documentation of the perceptions about corporal punishment, and guidelines for affirmative action in schools for positive development of children,’’ she added.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Shantha Sinha, Chairperson, NCPCR said: “the five years of experience in the Commission has shown that four essential management principles– decentralization, flexibility, institution-building processes and convergence — should inform and guide the programme implementation to ensure universal coverage of children in the 0-18 years age group.’’
“The Commission is entrusted with a vast mandate, covering a whole gamut of child rights. I would especially like to congratulate the Commission for moving away from welfare approach to a rights-based perspective, and thus imparting added strength to making the child rights justifiable,’’ said Dr Kishore Singh, UN Special Rapporteur on Right to Education in his Foundation Day lecture.
Smt. Neela Gangadharan, Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development also spoke on the occasion. “The release of the guidelines is both timely and relevant. The children of our country should also enjoy the fruits of development. The ministry recognizes that violation of child rights is not only the violation of human rights but also a largely an underreported obastacle to child’s development,’’ Smt. Gangadharan said.
The programme ended with a vote of thanks by Member Secretary Mr Lov Verma.