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Law Commission Report on Rights of Kids Under-6 Age Group
Sep 01, 2015

The Law Commission of India has recommended amending the Constitution to ensure that children under-6 years of age are protected from all forms of neglect, harm and exploitation.

  • The commission has also recommended that their right to basic care and assistance be made an enforceable right.
  • While the government has a policy on early childhood care and education in 2013, it is not enforceable under law. The commission said that early childhood is the phase of maximum vulnerability and deprivation can seriously impact a child's health and learning potential.
  • The commission recommended amendments to the Right to Education Act, Maternity Benefit Act and creation of a statutory authority for early childhood development to ensure proper emphasis on the promotion of early childhood development.
  • The commission said the protection of early childhood development in India depends on policies and schemes created and run by the central and state governments.
  • The commission is of the view that the Constitutional framework of Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles should reflect the special status and needs of children under 6 years of age.
  • The Commission believes that statutory backing should be given to the existing schemes and policies in order to create legal entitlements in favour of children.
  • The law panel suggested that as per the recommendation of the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution, a new Article, 24A, be inserted to Part III of the Constitution to ensure that the child’s right to basic care and assistance becomes an enforceable right.
  • The Article should read as follows: ‘24A—Every child shall have the right to care and assistance in basic needs and protection from all forms of neglect, harm and exploitation.
  • To extend the Right to Education to children in the under-6 age group as well, Article 21A of the Constitution should be amended, it said and recommended that the amended Article should read as: "The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children in such a manner as the State may by law determine."
  • The Commission has also suggested that Right to Education be made mandatory and children are provided access to pre-school education, services like creche and day care.
  • The report of the commission, whose term was ended on August 31, is the result of demands made by representatives of Alliance for Right to Early Childhood Care and Development and Mobile Creches who highlighted the issue relating to the rights of children under the age of 6 years.


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