Constitution of SCPCR

A Division Bench of the Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has instructed the authorities to provide details about the actions taken to establish the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR). During the hearing of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), the Bench noted that Section 44 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, requires the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights to monitor the effective implementation of the Act. Since no such Commission has been formed in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, the Bench emphasised that the absence of the Commission would be a significant failure on the part of the responsible authorities.
The State Commission for Protection of Child Rights is a statutory body that has to be established in each state and UT. The absence of a State Commission for Protection of Child Rights can have several negative impacts on the protection and well-being of children. One of the primary roles of the State Commission for Child Rights is to monitor and ensure the effective implementation of child protection laws and policies. Without a commission, there may be a lack of systematic monitoring and evaluation of child rights issues, leading to gaps in the enforcement and protection of children’s rights. The absence of a dedicated commission can result in a slower and less effective response to child rights violations. The commission plays a crucial role in receiving and investigating complaints related to child abuse, exploitation, and neglect. Without a commission, there may be delays or inadequate action taken to address such violations. State commissions often play a vital role in creating awareness about child rights and advocating for their protection. Their absence can lead to a lack of public awareness and understanding of child rights issues, making it harder to address challenges such as child abuse, child labour, trafficking, and discrimination. State commissions provide valuable recommendations and suggestions to the Government for improving child protection laws, policies, and programmes. Without a commission, there may be delays in identifying and addressing gaps in the legal framework and policies, which can hinder the effective protection of children’s rights. State Commissions serve as a focal point for coordination and cooperation between various Government departments, NGOs, and stakeholders working for child welfare. The absence of a commission can result in fragmented efforts and a lack of coordination, leading to less effective implementation of child protection initiatives. State commissions can provide legal support and representation to children in need, particularly in cases of child rights violations. Without a commission, children may face challenges in accessing legal assistance and representation, which can hinder their ability to seek justice and protection.
While the delays or inability to constitute commissions may seem unexplained on the surface, there may be underlying challenges or considerations that are not immediately apparent. The reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir as a Union Territory in 2019 involved significant administrative and governance changes. During such transitions, there can be delays and challenges in establishing new institutions or implementing changes in the administrative setup.
Overall, the absence of a State Commission for Protection of Child Rights can lead to gaps in the protection and promotion of children’s rights, making them more vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, and neglect. Considering that four years have already passed since the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as Union Territorries, it is reasonable to expect that the circumstances have settled down significantly. Therefore, the establishment of the commission should be prioritised without any further delay. It is crucial to establish and maintain a robust commission to ensure the effective safeguarding of child rights and their overall well-being.