The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Panel for children in pipeline

New Delhi, April 29: The Centre today said it would set up a National Commission for Children to protect the rights and well-being of children and adolescents.

The new commission will be along the lines of commissions already set up for safeguarding the rights of women, Scheduled Castes and Tribes and minorities. These commissions can make recommendations to the Centre but have no binding powers to make the government enforce them.

“Forty per cent of our population is below 18 and over 15 per cent in the 0-6 years age-group,” said human resource development (HRD) minister Murli Manohar Joshi at a news conference here this evening. The Bill to operationalise the six-member commission will be brought in the monsoon session of Parliament.

The commission will examine all issues relating to the violation of safeguards provided for children in the existing laws. It can inspect juvenile custodial homes and residences or institutions for children under the control of the Central or state government or run by a social organisation.

Joshi said unlike in the West, the commission will safeguard not only rights of children, but also their duties and responsibilities.

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