Centre for Advanced Legal Studies and Research, (CALSAR), Thiruvananthapuram



People of every age, be it babies, kids, teens, adults or senior citizens all these age groups represent a season in a person’s life. For every child their childhood is very important. Childhood is the carefree time  every person goes through where you can just enjoy yourself over & over without caring about  anything. That period which everyone wishes to return to. 

I am K.S.GokulkrishnaI am K.S.Gokulkrishna
BCom LL.B.(2019-24)

(i) Playing is an essential part of childhood which helps the children to identify their interests, &  develop social skills. In today’s world, our children are losing their playtime. (ii) A healthy childhood should be free from too much stress & burden of responsibility- school  is an excellent environment for a child’s growth but this should also be in a healthy &  considerable amount.

(iii) Children lose their childhood to virtual reality- ever since the advent of electronics & the  internet, children are always in front of Gaming systems, TVs etc. Thus leading to a lack of  social skills.

(iv) There are a variety of extracurricular activities like sports, clubs, academic organisations,  fairs etc. which eat up a good amount of childhood. All these activities are good if by  themselves & that too in a considerable amount.

A healthy childhood is nothing but a blessing by itself and acts as a foundation, they can carry all  those positive impacts into their adolescent stage, plus create such an environment for the future  generation. A healthy childhood helps to carve out a valuable youth force, but unfortunately, not 

Everyone can afford this luxury. A vast majority of children might not be able to have a healthy childhood  because they are forced to earn their daily bread due to poverty or due to loss of guardians. Also,  many children are exposed to the evils of society such as sexual harassment, cyber threats,  bullying, child molestations etc. Measures taken by the government are…

Different Legislations:

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is an important agreement by  countries that have promised to protect children’s rights. This convention aims to protect the  child’s rights, views & expressions as well as prevent sexual abuse, exploitation, kidnapping etc. 

The Constitution of India which came into force on 26th Jan 1950 protects children’s rights, for  example, Articles 21(a) & 24 guarantees all the children of the age group 6-14 compulsory  elementary education & protect children from hazardous employment till the age of 14 years for  example mining, glass manufacturing etc. Other than that, they enjoy common rights such as the  right to being protected from forced labour & trafficking (Article 23), the right to personal liberty  & due process of law (Article 21), the right to equality (Article 14) etc. More than 250 statutes  have been passed for the protection of children, other than that, various criminal laws give  protection to children such as the Indian penal code, 1860, the Indian evidence act, 1872 & the  Criminal procedure code, 1973. Some of the laws passed by the union government are (I) Children pledging of labour act, 1933- prohibits pledging of labour in children (ii) The Immoral Traffick (prevention) act, 1986- this act prohibits trafficking in both girls &  boys.

(iii) Child labour (prohibition & regulation) act, 1986- this act prohibits child employment in  certain industries & sets guidelines for employment in certain others.

(iv) Prohibition of child marriage act, 2006- In earlier days child marriage used to be rampant &  this law has abolished the practice of child marriage, if found practising will be penalized. (v) Right of children to free & compulsory education act, 2009- earlier right to education was  only a provision in the directive principles of state policy. This act has been passed to provide  compulsory education to children of the age group 6-14, now it’s a fundamental right enshrined

under Article 21a.

(vi) Protection of children from sexual offences act, 2012(POCSO)- was established to protect  children from sexual abuse & exploitation. The act establishes Juvenile courts for speedy as well  as child-friendly way of justice dispensation. Juvenile justice (care & protection of children) act,  2015 came into force on 15th Jan 2016 –This act aims to protect minors from being punished. 

India is ranked 112 on the child development index, even though various judicial reforms & laws  have been passed for the protection of children we still witness a huge amount of violence  against children. While the constitutional & legal framework provides for legal & political rights,  much more is needed to be done to ensure social & economic rights for weaker sections. 

Way forward: 

(I) Learning about child abuse-Child abuse is not always obvious, you may likely know a child  being subjected to abuse. 

(ii) Creating a safe environment can help reduce the risk of abuse, 80% of the abuse occurs in  isolated areas & one one one situations.

(iii) Normalizing talking about child abuse can help break the barriers & more children would  come forward. 

(iv) We need to recognise those signs-emotional & behavioural changes are often signs of abuse or  trauma.

(v) Also, it should be our responsibility to react appropriately to such suspicions, disclosure or  discovery of the fact. Only 8%-9% of such allegations are false.

 let us take a pledge to make a safer environment for our young  ones, and to be the change we want to see in the world.

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