Practice Relating to Rule 135. Children
Section A. Special protection
India’s Manual of Military Law (1983) provides that special care must be taken in respect of children.
India’s Army Training Note (1995) orders troops not to “ill treat any one, and in particular, … children”.
India’s Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act (2000) states:
1. Short title, extent and commencement. – (1) This Act may be called the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.
(2) it extends to the Whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
2. Definitions – In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, –
d. “child in need of care and protection” means a child –
ix. who is victim of any armed conflict, civil commotion or natural calamity;
CHILD IN NEED OF CARE AND PROTECTION
29. Child Welfare Committee. – (1) The State Government may, by notification in [the] Official Gazette, constitute for every district or group of districts, specified in the notification, one or more Child Welfare Committees for exercising the powers and discharge the duties conferred on such Committees in relation to child in need of care and protection under this Act.
31. Powers of Committee. – (1) The Committee shall have the final authority to dispose of cases for the care, protection, treatment, development and rehabilitation of the children as well as to provide for their basic needs and protection of human rights.
32. Production before Committee. – (1) Any child in need of care and protection may be produced before the Committee by one of the following persons:
(i) any police officer or special juvenile police unit or a designated police officer;
(ii) any public servant;
(iii) childline, a registered voluntary organisation or by such other voluntary organisation or an agency as may be recognised by the State Government;
(iv) any social worker or a public spirited citizen authorised by the State Government; or
(v) by the child himself.
33. Inquiry. – (1) On receipt of a report under section 32, the Committee or any police officer or special juvenile police unit or the designated police officer shall hold an inquiry in the prescribed manner and the Committee, on its own or on the report from any person or agency as mentioned in sub-section (1) of section 32, may pass an order to send the child to the children’s home for speedy inquiry by a social worker or child welfare officer.
(3) After the completion of the inquiry if the Committee is of the opinion that the said child has no family or ostensible support, it may allow the child to remain in the children’s home or shelter home till suitable rehabilitation is found for him or till he attains the age of eighteen years.
34. Children’s homes. – (1) The State Government may establish and maintain either by itself or in association with voluntary organisations, children's homes, in every district or group of districts, as the case may be, for the reception of child[ren] in need of care and protection during the pendency of any inquiry and subsequently for their care, treatment, education, training, development and rehabilitation.
37. Shelter homes. – (1) The State Government may recognise reputed and capable voluntary organisations and provide them assistance to set up and administer as many shelter homes for juveniles or children as may be required.
39. Restoration. – (1) Restoration of and protection to a child shall be the prime objective of any children’s home or the shelter home.
(2) The children’s home or a shelter home, as the case may be, shall take such steps as are considered necessary for the restoration of and protection to a child deprived of his family environment temporarily or permanently where such child is under the care and protection of a children’s home or a shelter home, as the case may be.
(3) The Committee shall have the powers to restore any child in need of care and protection to his parent, guardian, fit person or fit institution, as the case may be, and give them suitable directions.
Explanation. – For the purposes of this section “restoration of child” means restoration to –
(b) adopted parents;
(c) foster parents.
REHABILITATION AND SOCIAL REINTEGRATION
40. Process of rehabilitation and social reintegration. – The rehabilitation and social reintegration of a child shall begin during the stay of the child in a children’s home or special home and the rehabilitation and social reintegration of children shall be carried out alternatively by (i) adoption, (ii) foster care, (iii) sponsorship, and (iv) sending the child to an after-care organisation.
49. Presumption and determination of age. – (1) Where it appears to a competent authority that person brought before it under any of the provisions of this Act (otherwise than for the purpose of giving evidence) is a juvenile or the child, the competent authority shall make due inquiry so as to the age of that person and for that purpose shall take such evidence as may be necessary (but not an affidavit) and shall record a finding whether the person is a juvenile or the child or not, stating his age as nearly as may be.
62. Central, State, district and city advisory boards. – The Central Government or a State Government may constitute a Central or State Advisory board, as the case may be, to advise that Government on matter relating to the establishment and maintenance of the homes, mobilisation of resources, provision of facilities for education, training and rehabilitation of child[ren] in need of care and protection and juvenile[s] in conflict with law and co-ordination among the various official and non-official agencies concerned.
In 2011, in its combined third and fourth periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, India stated:
8A.2.1 Status and Trends
8. India does not face either international or non-international armed conflict situations. India is a party to the 1949 Geneva Convention and remains committed to fulfilment of its obligations there under.
9. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, (JJ Act, 2000), provides for care and protection, rehabilitation and social re-integration of children, who are vulnerable or victim of any form of abuse, torture, neglect or exploitation. The JJ Act, 2000, also includes children, who are victims of armed conflict or civil commotion, as children in need of care and protection.
10. The principles enshrined in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, (JJ (Amendment) Act, 2006), and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2007, (JJ Rules, 2007) protect the interests of all children in need of care and protection. The JJ Rules, 2007, under the Principle of Safety, stipulate protection at all stages, from the initial contact till the time a child remains in contact with the care and protection system, and thereafter.
11. The NCPCR [National Commission for Protection of Child Rights] at Central level and State Commissions for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCRs) at State level investigate cases of child rights violation. … Besides, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) also investigates incidences of rights violation. …
12. The Programme for Juvenile Justice, which provides shelter and rehabilitation for all children under care and protection, has been merged into the recently-launched Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS). The Scheme has provisions for specialised care services, with physical, psychological, counselling support and medical services to children in need of care and protection, including those affected by various forms of exploitation and abuse, and victims of any armed conflict or civil strife.
[footnote in original omitted]
In 2011, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, India stated:
18. Even though India does not face armed conflict, there are legislative provisions that prevent involvement of children in armed conflict and provide care and protection to children affected by armed conflict.
19. A child affected by armed conflict has been already defined by the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act (JJ Act), 2000, as a child in need of care and protection. Therefore, all the measures available under this Act are available for such children, which have a standard component of minimum standards to be adhered to. …
20. The Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS), launched by the MWCD [Ministry of Women and Child Development] in 2009, is a centrally-sponsored scheme that provides a safe and secure environment for overall development of children in need of care and protection, including children in difficult circumstances, such as children affected by, or involved in armed conflict. The objective of the Scheme is to contribute to the improvement in the well-being of children in difficult circumstances, and to the reduction of vulnerabilities to situations and actions that lead to abuse, neglect, exploitation, abandonment and separation of children. These will be achieved by:
(a) Improved access to, and quality of, child protection services;
[(b)] Increased public awareness about the reality of child rights, situation and protection in India;
[(c)] Clearly articulated responsibilities and enforced accountability for child protection;
[(d)] Established and functioning structures at all Government levels for delivery of statutory and support services to children in difficult circumstances;
[(e)] Introduction of operational-evidence-based monitoring and evaluation.
21. The  Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict was ratified by India in 2005. Since then, the country has initiated the process of implementation of the various articles of the Convention.