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Saturday, June 10, 2023

Maoists using child slave labour and child soldiers

The CPI (Maoist) are inducting children in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh and using them for cooking, carrying daily use materials apart from giving them military training, the government told Parliament on Tuesday.

In a written reply to parliamentarian Vishnu Dayal Ram, Minister of States (Home Affairs) Nityanand Rai said that there have been some reports of CPI (Maoist) inducting children into the organisation in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.

He said that they are using them for cooking, carrying daily use materials and collecting information on the movement of security forces.

“They are also imparted military training,” the minister said.

Replying to a question whether the Government has implemented any scheme or programme for the rehabilitation of such children, he said as per the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, subjects of police and public order are with the state governments. “Therefore, state governments take legal action in such matters,” he said.

He said that as far as the Central government is concerned, it has enacted the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (JJ Act) for children in distress situations including children in conflict with law (CCL) and children in need of care and protection (CNCP).

As per provisions of the JJ Act, a child who is a victim of or affected by any armed conflict, civil unrest or natural calamity, is included as a “child in need of care and protection”, among others.

The Act mandated a safety net of service delivery structures including institutional and non institutional care mechanisms, to safeguard the best interests of children.

As per the JJ Act, any non-state, self styled militant group or outfit declared as such by the Central government, if it recruits or uses any child for any purpose, shall be liable for criminal prosecution.

He pointed out that the Ministry of Women and Child Development is implementing a centrally sponsored Child Protection Services (CPS) scheme, for supporting the States and Union territories in providing a framework for care and protection of children in distress conditions.

The scheme also provides for non-institutional care wherein support is extended for adoption, foster care and sponsorship.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)

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