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Child Rights: Access to Justice and Effective Remedies



Abstract


Access to justice is a civil right, but it is therefore what brings those rights into action. With the protection of children to be anything than a dream, there has to be a way to implement certain right. Despite significant development in the last decades, millions of children often exist without their basic rights. Now more than ever, children’s lives are being touched by violence and conflict.


Child protection is an integral part of every other child's right. The inability to guarantee the right to protection for children negatively affects all other children's rights and the development of the child's full potential. Access to justice is characterized by the ability to obtain remedies, which means that the child should have access to justice in order to exercise his right to an effective remedy.

Along with legal reform the most important preventive measure is recognition of such potential abuse and how to cope with it among the various service providers so that they can dramatically reduce the risk of abuse by responding appropriately if it does occur.

Introduction


Children are known globally as the most valuable asset in every country. The nation’s prosperity is strongly based on how they are raised up and provided for. Every child needs a perfect childhood, surrounded by loving family and neighborhoods, safe from abuse and with the potential to succeed like many children does.


Poverty, abuse and oppression are not necessary. Many of the issues affecting children are a product of exploitative policies and inequalities in schooling in both developed and emerging societies. Within a stable community where the interests of children are protected, the most fragile children in the world will thrive and achieve their fullest potential.


There is many government as well as non governmental institutions working tirelessly for the rights of these children by promoting awareness among the society and creating a better future for them and strengthening the future of our country.


Rights of Minors, Need of The Hour


Millions of kids worldwide are being oppressed, neglected and discriminated against. These children include child laborers, children displaced by violent wars, sexually abused girls, girls in trouble with the law or in state care, as well as children living on the road, dealing with disability or enduring persecution because of their position as religious or ethnically insignificant.


Child labor and education:


Child labor is a tangible representation of human rights abuses, especially the right to education and development.


Education itself is a basic human right and with this we will understand the other human rights. It plays a key function in educating women and shielding children from both exploitative labor and sexual abuse. A person who is always trained and has an active mind has the freedom to roam openly and thoroughly, and can practice human rights and respect human life.

A country like India which is known to be a home for a highest number of children in the world, there are about 43 crore children between the age group of 0-18 according to 2001 census and about 74 percent of child population live in rural areas and so providing free, compulsory and good quality education seems to be very important during this stage of their life. India is also a home for the one third world’s illiterate population[i]

The Right of Children to Free and Mandatory Education Act, or commonly referred to as the Right to Education Act, 2009, which contained Article 21A2 in the Indian Constitution and thus rendered education a fundamental right. The Act's main objective is to provide free and compulsory education for all children between the age group ages 6-14 until they complete their primary education.

Infant labor and analphabetism go hand in hand as one tends to bread the other. Numerous reports have looked at the effect of employment on child labor. Most child labor is either partially illiterate or illiterate. More often than not, the parents of child labor, too, are illiterate. No research has ever identified an educated family with child labor.


Child's Right to Participation

Children don't just deserve to be seen as perpetrators of situations. They too will take a crucial part in guiding their own lives. Participation in the organisation may involve including the children in decision-making procedures, in recovery preparation, children will give us insight into the dynamics of their social environment and the dilemmas they face. Adults should take their actual interests and desires into account, rather than simply what adults believe their issues will be. Children spend a small amount of time in the Family. They may also need continuous instruction monitoring and avoidance of recurrence.

It is also really necessary for growing child to be linked to a help system or network that can follow through long after the child leaves the institution. NGOs and individuals can work closely with and develop these relations with the Home authorities. Rehabilitation will combine comprehensive curriculum with contemporary technical education. There will be ample resources for life skills education apart from technical school. If children are provided the ability in a nurturing atmosphere to develop skills such as problem solving, decision-making, leadership skills, self-awareness, they will handle their lives with courage, in a constructive way.


Need for Protection

Each child is entitled to protection. It involves not only children in different circumstances and those who have suffered crime, abuse and exploitation, but also those who are not in any of these adverse situations and need to be covered to ensure that they stay within the network of social security and protection. Protection of children is about protecting children from or against any perceived or real danger / risk to their life, personality and childhood. It's about increasing their vulnerability in adverse circumstances to any kind of damage.

Child protection is an integral part of every other child's right. The inability to guarantee the right to protection for children negatively affects all other children's rights and the development of the child's full potential. The protection of children is about protecting every child's right. It must also contribute to the capacity of children for self-reliance, self-defense, and family, culture, society, and state roles and responsibilities. Because of their particular socio-economic and political circumstances and geographical location, the need to protect certain children is undoubtedly greater than others.

Children who come into contact with the legal system often need an attorney's assistance. Children may be entitled to free legal advice and representation, depending on the context. Building on the principle of child-friendly justice, calling for all legal systems to be tailored to children's rights and special circumstances, let’s discuss some of the most common situations that may require legal assistance for children.

1. Children in conflict with law:

Where children are suspected or accused of being in conflict with the law, they may be entitled to Legal aid, which is free or subsidized legal assistance most often funded or provided by the government.

2. Children as victim: Child victims of crime should be granted and are in some circumstances entitled to legal assistance free of charge.

3. Children as witnesses:

Children may be asked to participate in legal proceedings in many jurisdictions to discuss things they have seen or experienced. This is commonly referred to as the proof which consists of evidence that will help the court reach a decision. A child giving evidence in legal proceedings may to some extent receive legal assistance from the lawyer who has asked the child to do so.

4. Children as complainants: Children whose rights have been violated may find it more difficult to obtain free legal assistance to file formal complaints with a court than someone else has initiated legal proceedings. There may be many obstacles to access to justice, and children may need to seek the permission and support of a parent or guardian before bringing a case in some legal systems. . In others, they may not even be permitted to initiate legal proceedings at all.

Several Implementations in Favor of Child:

Apart from right to education and eradication of child labor several other bills, acts and enactment have been passed. To list few:

1. Enactment of Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act

In March 2007 the NCPCR was formed. The task of the Commission is to ensure that all legislation, regulations, services, and regulatory structures are in accordance with the viewpoint on children's welfare as enshrined in the Indian Constitution and also the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Child is described as a individual in the age range of 0 to 18. The Commission visualizes a rights-based viewpoint that filters through national policy and services, together with complex federal, district, and block-level reactions, taking care of each region's nuances and strengths.


2. The Juvenile Justice system

The goal is to pass a law by consolidating and amending the legislation on the treatment and safety of children. It aims to address their developmental needs through appropriate care, security and recovery by implementing a child-friendly approach in the adjudication and disposal of cases, and for rehabilitation by having mechanisms and structures developed under the proposed new legislation.


3. The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act

The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA) describes child marriage as marriage in which either the girl or the boy is underage, i.e., the girl is under 18 years of age or the boy is under 21 years of age.


4. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, {POCSO}

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 defines a child as any individual under the age of 18 which extends protection to all children under the age of 18 against sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and pornography offences. The Act allows for strict penalties, which are measured according to the severity of the crime.


5. National Policy for Children

India's constitution provides basic rights for all children in the land. Children's policy has been accepted to assist in the delivery of children's services and projects around the world. The policy gives the right to life, safety and nutrition the utmost priority, and also gives emphasis to growth, education, security and involvement.

Conclusion


There is a clear relationship between access to justice and the right to an effective remedy. Access to justice is characterized by the ability to obtain remedies, which means that the child should have access to justice in order to exercise his right to an effective remedy. Access to justice can have different forms and the right to an effective remedy can be guaranteed by access to judicial proceedings but also through administrative and other formal or informal procedures.


Legal reform alone is unable to give the child justice. Undoubtedly, the most important preventive measure is recognition of such potential abuse and how to cope with it among the various service providers – physicians, educators, attorneys, judges, police, volunteers, parents, trade unions and social workers – so that they can dramatically reduce the risk of abuse by responding appropriately if it does occur. In order to summarize such issues need to be resolved quickly And above all, it is necessary to follow the core value of the universal legal principle of making policies, creating systems and procedures, and taking actions that are always in the child's best interest. Child is a bud, let it blossom as a flower with the nutrition of rights, the fruits of freedom and the care and attention not only of the parents but also of the state under the auspices of society. The struggle for the realization of the rights of the child is going to be a long journey.



Author Details:

1. Riya Sancheti (D.E.S's Shri Navalmal Firodia Law College, Pune University)

2. Pravar Alok Agrawal (Bharati Vidyapeeth, New Law College, Pune)


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