On Monday 3 May, The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) wrote to states urging them to inform child protection authorities about children who became orphaned due to the COVID-19 crisis.
NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo said in the letter addressed to chief secretaries, “The commission has been made aware of instances where it has been seen that many NGOs are advertising about the children who have become orphans after losing both their parents to COVID-19. In such a sad situation of the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country, situations are arising where the child has lost both its parents or is found to be abandoned. It may be noted that the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 provides for the procedure to be followed for children who have lost their family support and have become a child in need of care and protection”.
Further added, these children who have lost family support due to COVID-19 or have been abandoned due to the loss of parents to the disease need care and protection as per the JJ Act, 2015, and such children must be produced before the Child Welfare Committee as per section 31 of the Act. It also pointed out that every individual, entity, organization, or NGO needed to ensure the information received about orphaned and abandoned children during these COVID times is shared on the helpline 1098. “Any such information for an abandoned or orphaned child is received by any entity, organization, NGO then the same can be also be informed to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights either through email ([email protected]) or through telephone (011-23478250) for assistance and help to the children. This information can also be shared with the respective state commissions of the said state/UT for the same,” the letter read