Kochi: The state government is gearing up to launch the State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights, which was in limbo for quite some time. The commission has been authorised to handle the cases on child rights violation. “The proposal has been sent to the Finance Department for the final review. Once the approval is obtained, the commission will be launched within a month,” Social Welfare Minister M K Muneer said.
The Minister said that such an initiative is the need of the hour as the state has ceased to be a safe place for children. “Child abuse, child trafficking and many other issues pertaining to children are increasing at an alarming rate. This has raised alarms for intervention across the state. With the commission coming into effect, the issue can be addressed at the grass-roots level,” he said.
The commission comprises three members, a Child Protection Commissioner at the helm and two other officials to assist the commissioner. Frequent adalats would be held for the hearing of complaints. C K Raghavan Unni, joint director, Directorate of Social Welfare, said that the prime responsibility of the commission will be to ensure children’s rights. “The cases of child abuse are on the rise and the commission will put a tab on it,” he said.
The Kerala government is gearing up to launch the State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights.
Muneer said that in connection with the procedures to constitute the commission, the de-linking of the Department for Women and Child Development has started functioning. “ The process has begun. Through de-linking, both the units will exist independently,” he said. The constitution of a commission for children came as a big relief as the state is still lagging behind in implementing the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS).
Though the state had promised its aid while signing the memorandum with the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development for implementing the ICPS, it is yet to set up the district child protection committees. After much delay, the state has managed to form the State Child Protection Society. By constituting the district protection committees, each district is expected to get due representation.
There is no dearth in the Central grants allocated for the improvement of the child care institutions in the state. But crores of rupees are not utilised owing to the absence of the district child protection committees which can penetrate to the grass-roots level. Raghavan Unni added that the priority of the commission will always be to ensure children’s rights and not taking legal remedies.