Formulate standards for children ’ hostels, the government tells NCPCR

NEW DELHI: After going all out to enforce registration of child care institutions and shut down those refusing to comply, the women and child development has directed the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to formulate guidelines for children's hostels, prescribing the minimum standards of care. These guidelines will be notified under the Juvenile Justice Act 2015 or the JJ Rules.

“To ensure safety and well-being of children even at school hostels, Ministry WCD will be sharing the guidelines with the ministry of human resource development for dissemination among schools providing boarding facility,” a statement from the ministry said.

“This comes in the wake of institutions found housing children on the request of parents who are unable to take care of them and their education or due to other circumstances which force parents to keep them at children's homes,” the statement.

It is estimated that unregistered hostels may add up to a few thousand across the country. However, without any survey, no exact numbers are available yet. These hostels are not registered under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. Since they do not fall under the stipulated definition of children homes for orphans, abandoned and rescued children, they are so far unregulated.

The statement said, “In view of the directions of the SC, the ministry is drafting the guidelines which will be applicable to any institution not falling under the categories mentioned in the JJ Act.”

WCD minister Maneka Gandhi said, "Children staying at hostels, including those attached to schools, are as vulnerable as children in any other facility like child-care institutions (CCIs) and day-care centres. Therefore, we decided to formulate a set of guidelines to ensure adequate safety, minimum standard of living conditions and periodic inspections at hostels.”

The minister added that registration under the JJ Act is also mandatory for all CCIs running in the form of hostels.

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