The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 [JJ Act] is the primary law to deal with the children in need of care and protection as well as children in conflict with law. Section 34 (3) of the JJ Act provides for mandatory registration of all Child Care Institutions (CCIs) housing children in need of care and protection with the intent of enforcing minimum standards of care, under the Act and Rules there-under, for the services provided for children in these Homes. The JJ Act and Central Model Rules there-under provide for mechanisms for stringent monitoring of quality of services through Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) and Inspection Committees set up by the State Government at State, district and city levels. Further, the Rules provide for setting up of Children’s Committees in every institution which are, inter-alia, also encouraged to report incidents of abuse and exploitation, if any. Besides, Rule 60 of the Model Rules framed under the JJ Act also prescribes comprehensive measures to respond in case any kind of abuse, including sexual abuse, neglect and maltreatment is noticed in the CCI.
To ensure that children in all the Homes receive the best of care, and are not subject to abuse and neglect, the Ministry of Women and Child Development has been strongly urging the State Governments/UT Administrations from time to time to identify and register all CCIs under the JJ Act and set up functional inspection committees, where not available.
Further, the recently notified ‘The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012’ provides for stringent punishment for persons who, being on the management or staff of a Home, commit sexual assault on such child.