AILASCR at a Glance
with Legal Aid
Public Interest Litigation
With the pandemic casting a shadow on multiple issues directly linked to welfare and protection of children, Bachpan Bachao Andolan has taken upon itself the task of intervening in key issues to strengthen the safety net around vulnerable children.
Some of BBA’s key legal interventions between April 2020 and June 2021 include:
- Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in the Supreme Court for Alleged Rise in Child Trafficking
Data analysis of evidence gathered from Migrant Registration Portal, Rajasthan, and Quarantine Centres of Bihar, helped BBA file a PIL (Writ Petition No. 483/20) in the Supreme Court for prevention and protection of children from trafficking during the pandemic.
The bench directed:
- National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to frame appropriate policy/ guidelines on prevention of trafficking of children and their rescue and rehabilitation in the wake of COVID-19. The PIL also sought a direction to the NDMA and the Centre to circulate the policy to Chief Secretaries of all states and Lieutenant Governors of all Union Territories for action and mandatory implementation.
- NDMA was asked to preserve the data of migrant labourers from respective states on the National Migrant Information System (NMIS) portal and share the same after segregation with respective State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR), Child Welfare Committee and Anti Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) for rehabilitation and protection of trafficked children.
In response to BBA’s PIL, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an advisory titled ‘Preventing and Combating Human Trafficking Especially During The Period of COVID-19 Pandemic’ on July 6, 2020 directing states to immediately evolve coordination mechanism among different departments concerned, step up awareness, organize community awareness programmes besides urging panchayats to main a register of people living in the village to keep track of their movement and directing states to ensure respective police departments step up specific intelligence and surveillance mechanism to combat trafficking.
- Delhi High Court in a response to BBA’s petition regarding ensuring relief and protection against COVID-19 to thousands of rescued children who were trafficked for servitude and were placed in Child Care Institutions (CCIs), passed the following three directions:
- Recording of statements of children under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, to be done by the Magistrate visiting CCIs or through video conferencing.
- Any process related to legal proceedings under Juvenile Justice Act and other statutes, police, CWC and others to be held via video conferencing and where necessary, by visiting the CCI.
- COVID-19 sample of the child to be collected by health officers visiting CCI instead of the child being taken to health centre.
- In a case where BBA provided legal assistance to a child sexual abuse victim, a written submission was filed in Delhi High Court on victim compensation and method of disbursement of funds for POCSO victims.
In response to this, a landmark judgment was passed by the Delhi High Court, wherein the interim compensation granted to the male POCSO victim was enhanced from Rs 50,000 to Rs 6,00,000 thereby setting a precedent and benchmark for awarding interim compensation to POCSO male victims. (Mst X (through Mother & Natural Guardian) Vs. State & Ors).
- In the matter of Rakesh Malhotra Vs Government of National Capital Territory (GNCT) of Delhi, the Delhi High Court directed:
- GNCT to utilise the large workforce of Anganwadi workers to collect information of minor children who have lost one or both the parents and to share the information with concerned Child Welfare Committees (CWCs).
- CWC should take all measures as required under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015, without waiting for any further court directions.
- Principal Secretary (Health) to issue appropriate direction to all the hospitals to collect information on the admission form with regard to minor children and the person, to whom he/ she or they may be handed over in case of their demise. The hospitals are required to furnish the details of orphan children to Department of Women & Child Development without any delay.
- Concerned department of GNCT to call and gather information from the Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs), schools, police stations, hospitals and revenue department with regard to orphan children.
- Directed the concerned Secretaries in the Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD) and social welfare departments to take guidance from BBA, whenever required. BBA offered to render possible assistance in the matter of implementation of provisions of the several schemes under the JJ Act, 2015.