INDIA: Jammu and Kashmir government to set up Commission for protection of child rights

Summary: To protect child rights, Jammu and Kashmir will soon set up a State Commission and district-level Juvenile Justice Courts to look into cases of children.

The Social Welfare Department is in the process of setting up the State Commission for protection of child rights, Minister for Social Welfare Sakina Itoo told the Assembly here. Under the provisions of the Juvenile Act, district-level Juvenile Justice Courts will also be set up to deal with the cases of children, Itoo said. The department has further prepared a comprehensive Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS), which will go a long way in rehabilitation of children who are in difficult and unfavourable conditions, she said. The implementation of this scheme will initially involve Rs 40 crore which will be provided by the Centre, Itoo added. The department is now running 23 Bal Ashrams and 12 Nari Niketans across the state where more than 1500 orphans and destitutes were provided free lodging and care, she said. Another important initiative is passing of the "Domestic Violence Act, 2010" which includes provisions for making legal help available at the door step of the affected women. Rules in this regard have already been framed and the field-level infrastructure, including appointment of protection officers, has already been started, the minister informed. In reply to a question, Itoo said that the Jammu and Kashmir Backward Classes Commission has received more than 2,000 representations, out of which 199 villages have been included under the Rural and Backward category. However, the government contemplates to delete such places from the Backward Areas, which have taken benefits under it for long and are now developed, she added.

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