14th September, 2022 Social Issues
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- The Union government has announced that the ‘Childline 1098’ (Dedicated helpline for children) will be soon integrated with the national emergency number 112.
- The Union Women and Child Development Ministry have asked states and Union Territories to identify a State-level nodal officer and provide a building or space for setting up a control room for child and women helplines.
- Many social activists have raised concern that with the police becoming first responders to calls from children, there may be a drop in reporting of offences.
- Police personnel should not be the first responders as they can’t provide support and counseling children need.
- The Ministry of Women and Child Development announced the proposal to merge the child helpline (1098) with the national emergency helpline (112).
- Child helpline is a 24x7 emergency, free phone outreach for children in distress.
- It is one of the world’s biggest emergency helpline services dedicated to children.
- Nearly 50 lakh calls are received annually.
- The Union government in its new draft guidelines for Mission Vatsalya scheme for child protection services said the Childline to be “integrated” with the emergency helpline 112 of the Ministry of Home Affairs that assists with services related to police, health and women’s safety.
- The Childline is operated by a private trust called Childline India Foundation, which receives funding from the Ministry of Women and Child Development under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme, which is now part of Mission Vatsalya.
- The Ministry of Women and Child Development stated that Child line’s work not only involves rescuing children but also counselling them, identifying what is bothering them and then finding solutions to those problems.
- It deals with different kinds of problems children might face, from family discord, food shortage, medical assistance, help with enrolment in schools, etc.
- Childline works closely with police and district teams by supporting children in distress, helping them during medical examinations, taking them to Child Welfare Committees and linking them with shelters.
- The Ministry of Women and Child Development intended to provide ‘integrated benefits to children and women’ under Mission Vatsalya.
- Mission Vatsalya aims at ensuring a healthy and happy childhood for every child.
- ChildLine (1098), the 24-hour toll-free helpline for children in distress, is managed by the Home Affairs Ministry under Mission Vatsalya.
- The objective of Mission Vatsalya is to ensure a healthy and happy childhood for every child in India.
- Focus under Mission Vatsalya;
- Service delivery structures
- Institutional care/services
- Non-institutional community-based care
- Emergency outreach services
- Training and capacity building
- Child Protection Services and Child Welfare Services
- Mission Vatsalya has a total financial cost of Rs 10916 Crore.
Other steps by the government for child protection
- Enactment of Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act 2007 to ensure that all Laws, Policies, Programmes, and Administrative Mechanisms are in consonance with the Child Rights perspective as enshrined in the Constitution of India and also the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act seeks to cater to their developmental needs through proper care, protection and treatment by adopting a child-friendly approach.
- The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act
- The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012
- National Policy for Children to help in the implementation of programmes and schemes for children all over the country.
- The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules for every child between the ages of 6 to 14 years.
- Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) in 2009.
- Restructured Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), 2012.
- Childline and Track Child.
- Multi-sectoral programme to Address Maternal and Child undernutrition.
- Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao scheme.
- Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) was launched in 2013.
- PENCIL portal aims at involving the Centre, State, District, Governments, civil society and the general public in achieving the target of a child labour-free society.