Union Cabinet approves changes in the Juvenile Justice Act

The Union Cabinet approved various amendments to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. It aims at empowering the District Magistrates to issue adoption orders as well as monitor the implementation of the law.

The various amendments have been communicated through a press statement given by Minister for Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani. These amendments are aimed at strengthening Child Protection set-up to ensure best interest of children.

The proposed amendments seek to bring about certain changes:

1.Before someone sets up a shelter home for children and sends their proposal for registration under the Act to the State, a District Magistrate will have to assess their capacity and conduct a background check.

2.The District Magistrate can independently evaluate the functioning of the Child Welfare Committee, Special Juvenile Protection Units and registered childcare institutes.

3.It defines the eligibility parameters for appointment of members of the Child Welfare Committees, which decide on children in need of care and protection, and mandate their background checks.

4.It aims to expand the definition of children in need of care and protection. It includes those children who have been victims of trafficking, drug abuse, child labour and those who have been abandoned by their guardians.

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