A State-level meeting held on ‘Foster Care Under Juvenile Justice Act 2015’ and ‘Need of quality services for children to protect their well-being’

Chandigarh, September 21: While focusing on ‘Foster Care Under Juvenile Justice Act 2015’ and ‘Need of quality services for children to protect their well-being’, a state-level meeting held here at the convention hall of Chandigarh Judicial Academy on Saturday.

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Jaswant Singh, Judge, Punjab and Haryana High Court, in his keynote address said that no doubt, studies show that children who receive adequate parental supervision are less likely to engage in criminal activities. Family is the first crucial group in the life of a child and no one can say at birth that a child will inevitably become a delinquent nor it can be said that it will inevitably remain a law-abiding citizen.

However, ‘Juvenile Justice (care and protection of children) Act 2015’ is a landmark legislation which has been enacted to consolidate and amend the law relating to children alleged and found to be in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection by catering to their basic needs through proper care, protection, development, treatment, social reintegration, Hon’ble Judge added.

Hon’ble Judge further said that this entire ambit of services is to be provided to the child by adopting a child-friendly approach in the adjudication and disposal of matters in the best interest of children.

While elaborating about the passing of the first Juvenile Justice Act 1986 and following the Beijing Rules to ratification of UNCRC in 1992 and the successive Acts thereafter, he said these are an extensive, inclusive and systematic structures of services for children requiring care and protection of the state and the manner of execution in the way that is child friendly at every step of the way.

Hon’ble Judge also told about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child which recognizes the child right to alternative family care under Article 20 and 21. He also said that the Indian Constitution unequivocally protects the rights of the child under Article 15(3).  However, Articles 14, 19 and 21 also protect the best interests of the child.

Hon’ble Justice Jaswant Singh also told about certain standards of care under which he elaborated in detail regarding the need of quality services for children in order to protect their well-being.  

Hon’ble Justice Jaswant Singh, also added that through such workshop we have an opportunity to deliberate on how to promote the concept of Foster Care with the sole aim of reducing the child’s period of stay in institutions and increasing family-based care for children.

Hon’ble Justice Jaswant Singh also asked all the distinguished personalities present in the workshop to take the pledge today about a conscious effort to reduce the period of stay of children in the institutions and find families for all children keeping the principles of Best Interest of the Child in mind.

However, other distinguished personalities including Dr. K P Singh DG, state vigilance bureau, Haryana, Ms Vasundhra MD, Centre of Excellence in Alternative Care, Dr. Vageshwari Deswal, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, Amod k Kanth, general secretary, Prayas and Neil Robert, co-ordinator, Chandigarh legal services Authority also addressed the ‘meeting’.