RS okays bill to end discrimination in juvenile homes
Rajya Sabha today passed a bill with a provision that juvenile home children suffering from diseases like leprosy and TB need not be separated from rest of the occupants.
Replying to a brief debate on the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2010, Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath said segregation of children suffering from leprosy, sexually transmitted disease, Hepatitis-B, TB and unsound mind is not required.
"In the opinion of experts also, segregation is no more necessary for the treatment of such children," she said.
The minister said the Delhi High Court had also held that there was a need to amend discriminatory legislations and to ensure that persons suffering from leprosy enjoy equal status.
The bill seeks the omission and amendment of certain sections of the original Act, which had provisions for "removal" of such children from the juvenile homes to treatment centres.
She said the segregation of the children from the Home will have adverse impact on their mind and they will feel stigma.
While supporting the amendments, several members expressed concern over pitiable condition of juveniles homes, which lacked basic amenities like sanitation and proper food.
Besides, the members said there were instances of sexual abuse of the children in these Homes by the authorities.
There are no separate courts of these delinquents and they are produced in the normal courts and taken by the police there, the members said, adding it went against the spirit of the Act.