General Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary has removed India from the list of countries that need attention over the impact of armed conflict on children following active representation and engagement by the center.
This is the first time since 2010 that India has not been named in the report alongside countries like Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Lake Chad basin, Nigeria, Pakistan, and the Philippines.
The report of Antonio Guterres on ‘Children and Armed Conflict’ said India has been “removed from the report in 2023” in view of measures taken by the government to “better protect children”.
An official stated, under the guidance and leadership of Minister of Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani, a road map for cooperation and collaboration on child protection issues was developed by the Ministry.
WCD Secretary, Indevar Pandey, said, “This is a big achievement for India, having our name removed from this list after a 12-year period. Many of the systems were simply not in place earlier in J&K.”
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He added, “The Juvenile Justice Act was not implemented and the juvenile homes there were not functioning properly. Other infrastructures such as Child Welfare Committees, Juvenile Justice Boards, and Child Care Homes have since been established.”
The UN Secretary-General’s report stated:
“In my previous report, I welcomed the engagement of the Government of India with my Special Representative and noted that the engagement may lead to the removal of India as a situation of concern.”
“In view of the measures taken by the Government to better protect children, India has been removed from the report in 2023,’’ said Guterres.
“Many of the measures suggested by the organization have already been carried out or are underway. We have carried out training of security forces in the protection of children. The use of pellet guns has already been suspended. And the JJ Act and POCSO Act are being implemented,” said Pandey.
“The Government of India had been consistently engaged in efforts to exclude our country’s name from this ignoble list. The ongoing engagement of the Government of India with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) sped up after an inter-ministerial meeting was held in November 2021” and it “led to an agreement to appoint a national focal point to identify priority national interventions to enhance protection of children, the joint technical mission to hold inter-ministerial, technical-level meetings with the organization to identify areas of enhanced cooperation for child protection,” the ministry said in a statement.
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