Orissa Govt draws flak from NCPCR, NHRC for violating child rights

Nageshwar Patnaik, ET Bureau Jul 28, 2011, 03.12pm IST

BHUBANESWAR: The National Commission on Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and the National Human Rights Commission [NHRC] have rapped Orissa Government on the alleged violation of child rights. While NHRC has issued a notice to the state government and police for allegedly using schools as camps to fight the villagers opposing land acquisition by the South Korean steel major, Posco. NCPCR sought a report on the status of child labour issue in the state, the

The NHRC on Wednesday issued notice to the Chief Secretary and Director General Police on the use of school premises as police camps to facilitate land acquisition for the Posco for its 12-million ton project near Paradip. Taking suo moto cognisance of the media reports on the issue, the NHRC expressed concern over the issue and asked the government, chief secretary and DGP to a give separate reports within four weeks.

Media reports clearly pointed out that as armed forces were accommodated in the schools in the Posco area with arms and ammunition to take on the protester, the children refuse to go schools l fearing the police.

'The report, if true, raises a serious issue of right to education of children in Orissa and in particular in Jagatsinghpur district near the proposed Posco steel plant site. We have issued notices to the chief secretary and director general of police of Orissa, calling for their reports in the matter within four weeks,' an NHRC statement said.

Instead of regular teachers, contractual and ill-trained teachers were appointed, the report added.

Similarly, the NCPCR on Wednesday expressed serious concern over the child labour problem in the State and asked the Odisha Government to submit a report within three months.

Inaugurating a two day public hearing, the fifth one in the national level on the problems of child labour and their rights here, NCPCR chairperson Santha Sinha directed the state government to submit a detailed report on the status of the child labour and the steps taken to rehabilitate them.

Earlier, the Commission had already organised public hearing on child rights in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Delhi. She said the Commission was hearing on the issues relating to the violation of child rights, child labour system, food security of children, health, hild trafficking and education to children.

Stating that children are the most vulnerable section of the society despite the scores of welfare and developmental measures, Sinha asked the State Government to formulate a special policy for the protection of child rights.

The Commission on the first day heard as many as 30 cases of alleged violation of child rights. During the hearing, Sinha and other members of the Commission expressed their serious concern over the non-untilisation of funds meant for the welfare of child labourers and growing child trafficking from western Odisha districts like Nuapada, Baragarh and Balangir.