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NHRC advisory for rights of children amid pandemic

Hamirpur (HP), June 8 (UNI): The National Human Rights Commissioner has issued an advisory to protect the rights of children in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been issued keeping in mind the continuing impact of the pandemic on children and the apprehensions of experts about the third wave of the pandemic.

This is the fifth advisory in the advisory 2.0 series that the commission has issued amid the pandemic, Deputy Commissioner Debasweta Banik said on Tuesday.

Banik informed that the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued the advisory to the Secretaries of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Department of School Education and Literacy, Department of Food and Distribution, Chief Secretaries of States and Administrators of Union Territories.

In the letter, it has been asked to implement its recommendations mentioned in the advisory and has sought action taken report on it within four weeks. The reports of various authorities are required to include specific measures taken to protect the rights of children in view of the circumstances arising out of the pandemic. The advisory has focused on four key areas of health, education, childcare institutions and orphans during the pandemic.

The commission has recommended strengthening of the Paediatric Covid hospitals and protocols, leading all hospitals to display contact information of Childline (1098), Local Child Welfare Committee (CWC), District Child Protection Unit (DCPU), local police, etc. instructions have been given.

The commission has said that the ministries and departments at the central and state levels should also immediately and prominently set up a page related to Covid on their websites.

District magistrates have to take steps to financially support families who have lost one of the parents by linking them to existing social security plans and policies within 4-6 weeks of the parent’s death. This should include steps to expedite the benefits announced by the Prime Minister under the ‘PM-Cares for Children’ scheme, the Deputy Commissioner added.

She said to disseminate information about the toll-free telephone counselling service available at 1800-121-2830 for psychological support to children, the commission has issued an official notification regarding various categories of children tested for Covid-19. Special steps should be taken to maintain separate data on the website.

Similarly, the prevention of problems like child labour, child marriage or trafficking and dropout due to pandemic, provision of all necessary facilities in child care institutions, digitization of proceedings of Child Welfare Committees and Juvenile Justice Boards as well as all institutions and institutions related to children. NHRC has also issued guidelines on important subjects like vaccination of officers and employees of the state.

“The Commission has said that for children who have lost their parents during the COVID pandemic, the Nodal Department for Children in coordination with the State Government should work to strengthen sponsorship and foster care,” says the deputy commissioner.

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