NCPCR proposes steps to curb child abuse in hostels
New Delhi: "The environment in a hostel shall be free from abuse, allowing children to cope with their situation and build confidence." This is one of the key highlights of the hostel regulatory guidelines which has been prepared by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) for every single hostels of Educational Institutions for children aged below 18 years.
According to NCPCR, they prepared the guidelines after six months of research on the hostels in more than 18 states. Keeping in mind the safety and security of the minor, the guidelines have been prepared as in most of the cases Delhi-NCR witnessed, victims were children. According to the child rights body, the guideline will cover every single government and private hostels in Delhi and the other states.
NCPCR claimed that hostel superintendent will be the overall in-charge of the hostel and they should immediately report the matter to concerned officials of district administration, in connection with any violations of rights of children, especially serious offenses pertaining to child abuse and child sexual abuse as per Section 22 of the POCSO Act, 2012. The fees charged, if any, by the hostel must be regulated by the appropriate Government and only be collected on the monthly or quarterly basis.
According to the regulatory guidelines, the management of the hostel should ensure that at the time of joining the employee as defined in point 2 (f) has to furnish an affidavit that they have never been convicted under Juvenile Justice Act, 2015; and Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016, and Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012
The management committee should constitute of 50 percent students and 25 percent representatives of management and 25 percent representatives of teachers. In case of girls' hostel, the representatives of management and teachers should be 50 percent females. "If, the hostel is run, managed or established by the Government (Centre or State), and the competent authority is involved in establishing/managing/running such hostel, there is no need to apply for registration but it is mandatory for the competent authority to ensure proper implementation and fulfillment of norms and standards laid down in these guidelines," stated the guidelines.
According to Priyank Kanoongo, member NCPCR, they visited several states where they conducted studies on the hostels and after which they came up with the guidelines. "For the safety and security of children, we are taking every step," said Priyank Kanoongo.
As per the guidelines, clothing and bedding of children should be ensured by the superintendent of the hostel. "Every resident of the hostel shall be issued oil, soap and other materials. The menu shall be prepared with the help of a nutritional expert. During monthly medical check-ups by the visiting doctor, if any deficiencies are observed in children, the menu should be prepared in accordance to meet with the nutritional deficiency," say the guidelines.
After the enforcement of the guidelines, no hostel of the educational institution shall run without registration within the time period of six months (or as stated in notification) from the date of notification of the said guidelines. A hostel shall maintain an adequate number of staff to manage the hostel. Superintendent and Warden shall be any person possessing such minimum qualifications/skills/ training /certification by any institution of Central Government/appropriate Government or Recognized University/Board.