Friday, 12 September 2014



We a forum of Chairpersons and Members of Child Welfare Committees, Andhra Pradesh met at Hyderabad to discuss the best practices applied at district level and also the operational problems.
During CWC forum meeting convened at Hyderabad in the year 2013 & Vijayawada in the year Jun 2014 have had vast discussions on the issues/problems they are being faced so far. The total issues/problems have been merged together i.e. department wise and have given as below….
Infrastructural and Technical Issues (Dept of Juvenile Welfare)

·         In many of the districts no permanent facility available for CWCs for sittings, safe keep of valuable records, proceedings and discussions.
·         Unavailability of furniture and Computer for CWCs, hinders the documentation and record keeping.
·         Non-allocation of Data Entry Operator to most of the CWCs, hinders the case documentation and reporting.
·         Vacated positions in CWCs are not duly filled, which hinders the effective functioning of CWCs.
·         Unavailability of AP State Rules for JJ Act.
·         All Line departments of State Government have no knowledge of existence and functioning of Juvenile Justice System, which hinders CWCs to effectively address the facilities since providing temporary shelter to rehabilitation and re-integration issues of children.
·         No Children’s Homes or open shelters for Boys and Girls separately in most of the Districts. As a result it is becoming a challenge to provide temporary safe shelter to the children.
·         No Swadhaar / Ujwala Homes for trafficked children in most of the Districts.
·         Ensure no male personnel (even though they are 50 years and above) employed at Girl Child Homes. Ensure all employees are women in Girl Child Homes.
·         Delay in granting Fit Institutions Status to Organisations.
·         Delay in payment of Honorarium for members of CWCs.
·         Recently the sitting fee for CWCs has been enhanced to Rs.1000/- per sitting by the Govt of India under ICPS revised budget, but No GO/Circular issued by Govt of AP till now.
·         Provision of Transport and Travel for members of CWCs in order to reach out to the children far away in emergencies across the district.
·         No water, power, toilets & office boy (at least cleaning of office weekly twice or at the time of sittings) for CWCs /JJBs office, which is allocated in the premises of District Women & Child Development office.   

·           Recently, one of the commissioners of Right to Information Act at New Delhi instructed that, the CWCs should give necessary information including process document & Judgment copy under the RTI Act (AFD Vs CWC of New Delhi case). In this juncture, how the CWCs are able to give such information where there is no sufficient man power like Data Entry Operator and other clerical staff.
·         There are no Data Entry Operators for nearly 80% of the CWCs and for rest of the 20% CWCs those appointed are working under the control of Project Director, Dist Women & Child Development Agencies.
·         ICPS paved a way in providing some minimum structures/resources and support services for implementation of JJ Act, 2000 amend 2006 in the states.
·         Though it is viable to bring CWC and JJB under ICPS, it would not be a correct process to monitor CWC through ICPS only.  Because, CWC existence will be a question mark if ICPS is closed.  Would the State Governments take responsibilities to allocate funds for existence of CWCs even after closure of ICPS?  Irrespective of funds from these schemes, shall we think whether it is possible to bring a sustainable structure to CWCs /JJBs for their effective existence in future?
·         Honestly, if the Government put its efforts to implement JJ Act, 2000 amend 2006 properly, the state Government supposed to conduct convergence meetings between CWCs and rest of the line departments at District level.  These conversances are essential to build coordination and cooperation between CWCs and those departments.
·         A wide range of trainings needed at both district and state level on JJ Act to all line department officials.
·         Still there is no finalization of state rules moreover advising to follow and continue with 2003 rules only.

District Administration

·         No official of the district administration like Dist collector, Joint collector and SP of Police not trained on JJ Act. This results in negligence over the CWC instructions moreover key officials of the district issuing parallel instructions in other directions that result in a question mark on children rehabilitation services.
·         Govt welfare institutions like BC, SC, ST and social welfare etc are also neglecting the instructions of CWC whenever they issue proceedings for children belong to those categories for placement for safe shelter including education support etc.,
·         Rajiv Vidya mission (SSA) and education department too same as above in case of rehabilitation of the children who are in need of care and protection services and whenever there is a violence of child rights in schools. Moreover, they are not submitting necessary reports which helps in issuing further directions by keeping in view of best interest of the child by CWC.

Dept of Women Development and Child Welfare
·         Non-production of Children in front of CWC by the Dept of WD&CW ie..CDPOs, Supervisors etc
·         CWCs are facing problem in identifying suitable organizations, who are running Homes for temporary and permanent shelter for children in need of care and protection, for immediate shelter, due to delay in grant of license to NGOs as per Licensing Act.
·         The Project Directors of women and child development agencies are completely rejecting the orders by CWC for immediate relief and rehabilitation supports for rescued trafficked children and victims of sexual abuse/rape etc.,

·         No District Child Protection Units are accessible to CWCs in most of the Districts, in spite of having An Integrated Child Protection Scheme, which is based on major objective of effective implementation of Juvenile Justice System.

·         Delay in disposing cases by CWCs, due to endorsement of DCPUs responsibility to Project Directors, Women and Child Welfare at operational level. Whenever they conduct any rescue operations/rescue from child marriages or in submitting SIRs the DCPUs directly producing the victims before project directors and when they give green signal then only producing before CWCs. Most of the times this process takes more than 24 hrs to one week.

·         As per Sec 32 (2) of JJ Act 2000 read with 2006, any public servant shall produce the children who are in need of care and protection before CWC immediately within 24 hrs after identification of such children without any further delay. As in the same way under Sec 13 (1) of The Prohibition of Child Marriages Act, 2006 the rescued victim children from child marriages shall intimate and produce either before Child Welfare Committee or before a First Class Judicial Magistrate immediately after identification and rescue. But in almost all the recently occurred cases of child marriages and other cases in which offence against children, the supervisors and CDPOs of Dept of WD&CW as well as staff of ICPS seems voluntarily neglecting the instructions by CWC and are directly intimating and producing the victim girls before the Project Director, Dept of WD&CW. All the CDPOs and Supervisors of Dept of Women and Child Development Agency have been declared as CMPOs (Child Marriage Prohibition Officers) by the Govt of AP.

·         All District Child Protection Societies are not operational.
·         No water, power, toilets & office boy (at least cleaning of office weekly twice or at the time of sittings) for CWCs /JJBs office, which is allocated in the premises of District Women & Child Development office.

·         Still there is no role clarity of ICPS Personnel with CWC even after 3 year of its constitution in AP.
·         Social Workers are not attached to Special Juvenile Police Units.
·         Non-disclosure of information of available funds such as Awareness Programmes, Institutional Support, Sponsorship and Foster Care, which hinders CWCs to give justice to the deserving children.
·         Most of the DCPUs are not taking in to consideration of CWCs instructions and they always states that they are responsible only for the PD – Women Development & Child Welfare of concerned districts.
Adoption Agencies
·         Even after the CWCs declaration of Legally free for adoption, the adoption cases are kept for long periods of time, which is influencing the decision of prospective adoptive parents.
·         Disclosure of Information of District-wise adoption details including details of adoptive parents to CWCs at regular intervals.
·         Unavailability of guidelines on Foster Care as part of Pre-Adoption process.
Police Department
·         As per ADG of Police CID issued a letter no. 786/WPC/CID/2006 Dated 23/11/06 against W.P. No 13472 of 2006 in the High Court established…. In the state of AP all the Unit officers i.e., SPs and CPs have designated as Special Juvenile Police Units and ASIs/HCs designated as Child Welfare Officers (CWOs) in all Police Stations. But till date no CWOs are functioning in many districts in AP.
·         The police officers not informing the Missing Children/abused children FIRs to CWC and not surrendering ‘found’ children to CWCs.
·         No cases involving crimes against children as per Sections 23 to 26 of Juvenile Justice ( Care and Protection) Act, 2000 are produced before JJBs by the Police, and also such children will come under the category of Children in need of care and protection and such children to be transferred to CWCs by JJBs.
·         Non-production of child victims (18 years and below) in front of CWC, within 24 hours.
·         Working Strategy of Special Juvenile Police Unit is not built into the system. Social Workers from ICPS are not being utilized for District Special Juvenile Police Unit.
·         Police personnel are not responding to the Orders by CWCs.
·         Police should facilitate escort services for transferring children across the country.
JUDICIAL Department
·         The Child Welfare Committee, as per Section 29(5) of the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2000 read with 2006, is a statutory authority functioning as a Bench of Magistrates and shall have the powers conferred by the code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) on a metropolitan magistrate or with powers of Judicial Magistrate of the First Class……… but no department taking into their consideration regarding issued directions by CWCs hence, we request Judiciary for fulfillment of bellow…..
1.       A quarterly review is to be convened under the aegis of District Judge with CWC & JJBs and a State level review also need to be conducted under the aegis of any of the High Court Judges.
2.       Whenever there is violation of the directions issued by CWC, it remained a question to whom it has to approach? Hence, it would be essential to promote a state level committee/bench by high court to appeal violation against CWC orders.
3.       It is required to establish a separate wing in AP Judiciary Academy to conduct periodical refresher trainings to members of CWC & JJBs to strengthen the JJ System in AP.
4.       The public prosecutors to be linked with CWCs when ever their support is required.

Issues with JJBs

·         If parents/ relatives are not coming forward to give bail for the children in conflict with law in bailable cases, such cases can be transferred to CWC for finding a fit person / fit institution to bail out such children for protection and monitoring keeping in mind the best interest of children. As these children come under the category of “Children in need of Care and Protection”.

·         JJBs needs to take appropriate measures to transfer the cases of children, who had the misfortune of coming in contact with conflict with law to CWCs at district level to avoid frequent transits of children to JJBs to Courts to Observation Homes, which put the children through immense stress and anxiety.
·         Most of the JJBs rejecting to handle the cases of victimized children that comes under section 23 to 26 of JJ Act i.e. the cases of crime against children like rape, abuse, exploitation, child marriage, beggary, drug abuse and child labor etc., but they are taking the cases of children who are in conflict with law only.

Other challenges faced by the CWCs in Andhra Pradesh

Exercising magisterial powers:

It is fact that magisterial powers have been given to CWC chairperson as per law. But no district level authority and officials of line departments are caring these powers (AP situation). Because, these are the powers which could not allow CWC to take any action against them whenever it is required. In fact since the village level Anganwadi workers to Project Directors at district level in WD&CW department as in the same way the law enforcement agencies like Police, Labour and Judiciary has no at least basic idea on JJ Act which has enforced and endowed the CWCs as supreme authority with all necessary powers in disposal of cases of children who are in need of care and protection services.

For Ex: In a rescue operation 2 minor girls (sisters) at the age of 13 and 14 were rescued at Guntur recently. The sordid issue of this case is their mother and grandmother are the perpetrators who joined these girls in to prostitution. These girls must be produced before CWC as per JJ Act as they are children below 18 years. But the police directly produced the girls before judicial magistrate without least care and concern though the CWC asked them to produce before it. Then the mother of these girls came to the court and asked the Magistrate to handover the girls to her. It is surprise to say that, the magistrate without referring the girls for counseling services and without instructing for home investigation, directly handed over the girls to their mother. It’s just an example for violation of Juvenile Justice System with concerned Law directly by the Law Enforcement agency itself. Still, neither the police producing the children before CWC nor the courts orders them to produce the children before CWC.

It is very essential to allocate not only powers to CWC but also the powers that can take action against the perpetrators. Here, it is also very important that, the officials of concerned line departments should not involve in a negative mode while the CWC taking any action against the offenders who commit crime against children. It is absurd to say that, even the child protection systems by the state like DCPU and CHILDLINE 1098 also could not equipped with enough knowledge on functions, powers and responsibilities of CWCs. CWCs must be strengthened up to the level where they could exercise their constitutional powers but not the powers on papers simply.

It is a thought provoking issue in this context is that, how far these line departments having proper idea on JJ Act, 2000 amend 2006. By keeping in view of this major concern, it is very indispensible to provide trainings to Line departments & law enforcement authorities at Dist level on JJ Act and significance of CWC and JJB. 

It is very shocking to see that no magistrate identifying the members in JJB as members at least. In mnay places in Andhra Pradesh the opinions of these members not coming into concern of magistrate, more over they are not getting the signature of these members while closure of the cases in JJB.  Still these  courts held in the premises of judicial courts only and the police and advocates maintaining uniforms as usual. 

CWC Trainings:

CWC has been constituted in Jan 2011 but there is no sufficient number of trainings so far for its capacity building. If at all there is one or two trainings sporadically, it is too just for understanding simple fundamentals like what is JJ Act, CWC/JJB and what CRC is. It is essential to provide comprehensive inputs while conducting a training program and the technical knowledge like the CWC proceedings i. e.  The sections of JJ Act which are used most frequently while dealing with the cases of children in need of care and protection services at grassroots level and the types of forms to be used for case disposal process;

Support needed for CWCs:
·         Still there is no formation of multi disciplinary teams in A.P.
·         Yet, no payment to the CWCs for last term sittings also. Recently the Dept of Juvenile welfare suggested honorarium to the members Rs.2000/- per month, chairman Rs.3000/- per month.  No discussions held on travel expenses etc…
·         Funds required for office set up, administrative costs for CWC office, infrastructure and for home investigations
·         Isn’t it possible to deposit the amount by opening a separate account in the name of CWC as the CWC is authorized with judicial magistrate powers? Why it is needed to involve some other departments for releasing payments for CWC and isn’t it a dishonor to these committees?

Rehabilitation Challenges
·         There are no juvenile homes in several districts of AP under Dept of Juvenile Welfare, Correctional Services and Welfare of Street Children, Govt of AP. Moreover, there are no homes for boys even those run by NGOs.
·         There is no proper transportation facility in the process of transferring victim child from one home to other or one district to other or state to state in case of child belong to the jurisdiction of other CWCs or in case of children who deserve special needs (physical or mentally challenged).
·         No formation of SJPU still in AP. No police station equipped with child welfare officer till date. So, no police escort while transferring the children from district to district or within district.
·         No proper linkages between CWCs of intra and interstate. As a result, the children are directly sent back to their homes without consulting source area CWC when they rescued at some other destination point or jurisdiction of other CWC. This leads to re-trafficking of the children.
·         There are no special staffs for institutional and non institutional care children and for the follow up of the victims who are reintegrated with their families.
·         Being a law enforcement agency the police department itself not caring the proceedings issued by CWC and they are producing the children found below 18 years before general sessions courts only instead of CWCs.  This is becoming a big challenge for CWCs in facilitating effective rehabilitation and reintegration services for children in need of care and protection services.

·         There are very poor services in counseling, vocational trainings in Govt Girls homes run by dept of JOW & Dept of WD&CW and SWADHAR & UJWALA homes supported by Govt of India due to insufficient and delay fund release.  This is a major barrier for rehabilitating a rescued trafficked child victim.
·         In case of trafficked rescued child victims, the amount allocated by AP Govt through GO Ms No: 28 as an Immediate Relief Support is Rs.20, 000/- for basic needs like.. Two pairs of dress, sandals, toiletries etc.  In fact, by name only it is Immediate Relief Support but taking years long even after the proceedings/order issued by CWC of concerned district.   One more shocking issue is the Dept of WD&CW treating this Immediate Relief Support as an entire rehabilitation support but it is the support meant for immediate needs of the victim only.

Review of functioning

There are no reviews either at district or state level by concerned authorities with regard to the case load, no. of rehabilitation and re-integration services facilitated by CWCs, no. of proceedings/orders issued by CWCs that are executed by concerned authorities, types of cases mostly emerging and are being produced before CWC and by whom under Sec 32 of JJ Act, 2000 amend 2006 and so on.

It is a big question that, who will be the responsible persons for taking action against the officials those who neglects or doesn’t care for CWC orders? To whom the CWC could complaints against those officials?

Our appeal

We request the NCPCR to take steps for strengthening of State Commission for Protection of Child Rights in the AP State and further to request you please take into consideration of above cited issues of CWCs in AP and to address the same.

1 comment:

  1. Respected Sir,

    Greeting from Child Welfare Committee, Rangareddy District.

    Child abuses and corporal punishments has been happening in Private School in Rangareeddy District This news has came on news Paper. As per News CWC has order to SIR to District Child Protection Unit, as per order DCPU has went to School and show the CWC’s order but school Management not allowed into school to talk with children that DCPU informed to CWC. CWC asked me that, how to move in this case to know the real situation in the school and how to take an action on school management to not obey the orders.

    Thank you
    With regards