Laws For The Protection Of Orphans During Pandemic
Written By: Swapna Sudha Sahoo
Children are considered as the boons of the society. They are the future citizens of our country. Their health must be given the utmost importance. Therefore, no kind of exploitation must be done against them if anyone does so he must be strictly punished for the same. So, we need to be aware about the laws and policies that bind the children protection and also must be aware about the remedies available to them. A child who is in danger needs legal help and assistance for which it is very much essential to protect them from any kind of malpractices that exist in the society.
Often children are kidnapped, there are child trafficking, child abuse cases, child exploitation etc. Which mentally affects a child. So legal remedies must be made available to the needy children in case of any emergency. If there is any kind of problem that arises within a child following steps must be taken:
- First of all, the matter must be informed to the police or the child helpline center
- It must be ensured that the child gets legal assistance and aid from the child helpline center.
- There must be the public supporting the needy children
- The press and media must be made aware about such grievances.
Sex- Abortion, Female Foeticide And Infanticide
The law that deals with sex-selective abortion are Pre- conception and Prenatal Diagnostic Technique Act, 1994. The offenses include:
- Conducting PND under any un registered hospital
- Sex determination test
- Undergoing the operation without certification
- Sale, distribution, supply of any medical equipment
- The release of any news of sex determination through press or media.
The following sections from Indian Penal Code are held important:
- Section 299 and 300: when death is caused by a person
- Section 312: cause a mother to miscarriage a baby
- Section 315: causing the death of a child immediately after birth
- Section 316: causing death of an unborn child
- Section 317: abandoning a child who is below 12 years
- Section 318: disposing the body of a new born child secretly.
The offences are held with imprisonment up to two years or fine or both as the case maybe.
- The Child Marriage Prohibition Act, 2006 prohibits the marriage of a child and if done punishment which is for a period of two years or a fine of Rs. 1 lakh.
- This act prohibits the marriage of a boy below 21 years of age and a girl below 18 years of age
- There are certain provisions for the maintenance of the girl child. If the girl is major then the husband shall pay the maintenance and if the girl is minor then the father of the girl child needs to pay the maintenance.
- The status of child marriage is voidable at the option of the party.
- Children Act, 1933 declares the employment of any child below 15 years of age as void for any labor work done by them for the purpose of remuneration or wages, etc.
- Article 24 in the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy states that it is unlawful for the employment of a child below 14 years of age. It is held illegal and unlawful.
- The Bonded Labour System Act, 1976 prohibits the forcing of labor into bonded labor for debt repayment. It prevents the entering into any new bondage agreements and also discharges the existing bondage laborers.
- The Child Labour Act, 1986 prohibits the employment of a child in 18 occupations 65 processes and regulates the working of children in other works and processes.
There is a list of labor laws to prohibit the employment of children in workplaces:
- The Factories Act, 1948
- The Plantation Labour Act, 1951
- The Mines Act, 1952
- The Merchant Shipping Act, 1958
- The Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961
- The Beedi and Cigar Workers Act, 1966
- The W.B. Shops & Establishment Act, 1963
The Child Trafficking
The Indian Penal Code 1860 punishes for using minor children for illegal activities like buying and selling for unlawful activities, cheating, kidnapping and wrongful confinement etc.
Some laws are:
- Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959
- Bonded Labour System Act, 1976
- Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929
- Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956
- Immoral Traffic Act, 1986
- Information Technology Act, 2000
- Article 14 states equal protection to each and every person irrespective of any caste, creed, color, religion, sex etc.
- Article 15 states that there should not be any discrimination on the ground of caste, creed, color, religion, sex etc.
- Article 16 states that there should not be any discrimination on the ground of race, caste, sex or place of birth.
- Article 17 states that there should not be untouchability.
The children should not be maltreated in the covid pandemic. They are a great boon to society and they should be considered as the future of our country. They should not face any kind of exploitation, abuse, or maltreatment from any other person. They should be cared for and loved so that they feel special about themselves.
There should not be any kind of discrimination on the ground of caste, creed, religion, color, sex, etc. There should be child protection health centers also child help care lines for emergencies. Laws should be followed strictly and if anyone violates it then stringent actions and punishment must be inflicted against them.