The Union Cabinet of India on 18 April 2013 approved the National Policy for Children, 2012. The policy was approved to reaffirm the commitment of the Government towards the realization of the rights of the Children in the Country as it recognized that every person below 18 years in age as a child.
Guiding principles laid down by the Policy includes
• The right of every child to life, survival, development, education, protection and participation;
• Equal rights for all children without discrimination;
• The best interest of the child as a primary concern in all actions and decisions affecting children
• Family environment as the most conducive for all-round development of children
The set principles makes it mandatory for Governments at all levels, National, State and Local to respect the children in all their actions and initiatives that affects them.
The policy has identified survival, nutrition, health, development, education, protection and participation as undeniable rights of every child, and these have been recognized as the key priority areas.
For development of a child multi-sectoral, interconnected and collective effort is required to be put forward and thus the Policy aims at:
• Purposeful convergence and strong coordination across different sectors and levels of governance
• Active engagement and partnerships with all stakeholders
• Setting up of a comprehensive and reliable knowledge base
• Provision of adequate resources
• Sensitization and capacity development of all those who work for and with children
To give effect to the Policy the Union Government has decided to develop a National Plan of Action and constitute a National Coordination and Action Group (NCAG) for fine monitoring of the progress of implementation of the plan. For monitoring and implementation of the policy at state and district level, same type of action groups will be constituted by the Government.
Responsibilities Given to
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and State Commissions for Protection of Child Rights are made responsible to ensure that the principles of the policy are respected in all sectors at all levels.
The Government has also created a provision of reviewing the Policy after every five years. The Ministry of Women and Child Development will be the nodal ministry for overseeing and coordinating the implementation of the policy and will lead the review process.