UN-india joint statement on the rights of children in shelter homes in india
August 14, 2018
NEW DELHI, 14 August 2018 – The UN Resident Coordinator in India issued the following statement today.
The United Nations appreciates the commitment of the Union government and state governments, civil society and concerned citizens to improving the lives of the most vulnerable and deprived children in India.
The terrible incidents of children being abused and exploited at the hands of those who are supposed to protect them in child care institutions should be a wake-up call to all of us. Every instance of violence against a child, boy or girl, is unconscionable and should be met with zero-tolerance.
We commend the state governments and independent institutions that have taken corrective measures to assess the situation of children in residential care. Recognizing grave violations of children’s rights, however painful, will always be better than a culture of silence and denial. These efforts should now concentrate on supporting the healing of child survivors of abuse, neglect and exploitation. At the same time, we need to focus on ensuring that such incidents do not happen again and that those responsible are held accountable.
The United Nations is encouraged by the Supreme Court of India’s pronouncements to ensure the protection of children. We commend the commitment by the Government of India and concerned state governments to pursue social audits of child care institutions.
In recent years, India has made significant progress in addressing sexual abuse against children by enacting legislation and taking action on many cases, with the issue now gaining attention from the public. We sincerely hope the recent incidents will lead to a comprehensive reform of child protection services in India. We advocate for children to stay in safe family and community environments as a priority and that they be placed in residential care only when this is in the best interest of the child.