Child protection mechanisms in India
Although the placement in homes for children is necessary in extreme cases, it is not the only answer to protect children: a non-institutional support can be given to the child and his family without seperating them.
The placement of a child in a shelter or an orphanage in Delhi is subject to Indian legislation which guarantees children’s rights. TARA works in close co-operation with the relevant institutions in Delhi to ensure the respect of the children’s fundamental rights, as enacted by Indian Law and the Declaration of the Rights of the Child (UN, 1959).
Child protection in India is regulated by law
Children are placed in TARA through a placement order by the Child Welfare Committee, a statutory body which enquires about each child’s situation according to the statutes of the Juvenile Justice Act (2015) and decides if the placement of the child in a children’s home or an orphanage is necessary, or if a non-institutional educational support is more appropriate.
Children placed in institutional care are labelled “in need of care and protection”, as per the Juvenile Justice Act 2015. Total care is required for them, hence the need of an institutional set up like a children’s home or an orphanage in Delhi.
All TARA staff members follow regular training sessions based on the legislation on Child Protection in India. Each week, the team meets in order to talk about the latest updates, and to ensure the coherence of TARA’s educative action.
Our Child Protection Policy
TARA has its own Child Protection Policy which defines the rights and duties of each TARA associate (children, staff, volunteers…). This policy, which is written in cooperation with the children, is a pillar of TARA’s ethos and provides a framework to each of our decisions. It is based on the recommendations of the Indian legislation, which applies to each orphanage and children’s home in India, as well as international standards defined by the UN.
We regularly organize workshops where we make sure that all children understand TARA’s Child Protection Policy. They are well aware of their own rights and duties as well as those of the adults who take care of them. They are able to identify when a situation is non-compliant with the rules of this Policy and, if appropriate, to inform immediately our Director, our Trustees and the Child Welfare Committee.
Child Participation in their own protection
TARA fuels the empowerment of the children through their constant involvement in the process of their own protection and education. The traumatized children we welcome have often been objectified or suffered from a lack of individual attention when they lived in a crowded institution or orphanage in Delhi. TARA treats each child equally and as per his identified needs.
The empowerment of the children is essential for them to become directors, and not mere objects, of their future.