In the wake of complaints against social media pages/posts posting advertisements for adoption of children in the wake of Covid 19 pandemic, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has asked the social media groups to share the origin of the posts to the commission and warned of strict action if the directions not complied with.
In a letter to Whatsapp, Twitter, facebook and instagram, the NCPCR said “in light of the implemented provisions of Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and order of the Supreme Court, it is requested that in cases where such posts are posted on your online social media platforms, information about the same must be reported to the law enforcement authorities and/or National Commission or State Commission of the concerned State/UT and provide the details of the IP Address, origin of the post and other such relevant details, so that Commission can recommend for necessary action in the matter.”
The Commission warned that it would be compelled to take strict action against them in case of inaction or non-reporting of the same to the Commission or to the law enforcement authorities. “This matter is of a serious nature connected with the safety and security and protection of rights of children in the country and must be treated with utmost commitment and priority by your good offices.” The commission said in the letter.
The letter further said that the Commission was aware of many social media posts on adoption and had received complaints against these social media pages/posts on adoption during COVID-19.
Stating that it was aware that children who have lost both the parents are child in need of care and protection, the Commission stressed that the procedure as laid down under the Act has to be followed for placing these children in adoption with families willing to adopt.
“All or any of such adoptions which happen without following the procedures of the Act are illegal and violation of Section 80 and 81 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015. The Act under these provisions lays down strict punitive punishment for not following the procedure for adoption, as laid down under the Act, the NCPCR said.
Further, the Commission said that Section 32 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 provides for mandatory reporting of all children found separated from guardian. It states that any child who is without family support, orphan, abandoned or lost must be reported to ChildLine services, nearest police station, child welfare committee or to a district child protection unit. The information regarding such child is to be given to the authorities within 24 hours. In case of failure of reporting of such a child within the prescribed limit, the Act provides for punitive punishment for the same under Section 34. Therefore, non-reporting of such a child and placing the child in adoption without following the due procedure is illegal and liable to punishment, the Commission said.
The Commission noted that it issued advisory on May 2, 2021 and taken cognizance of such illegal posts/complaints received, and asked the State Governments and the law enforcement authorities to take necessary action in this matter.
It also mentioned that the Supreme Court stated that no adoption of affected children should be permitted contrary to the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015. The apex court also directed the State Governments/Union Territories to take action against those NGOs/individuals who are indulging in illegal adoptions.
In the letter, the Commission said that the issue was of a serious nature connected with the safety, security, and protection of rights of children in the country and must be treated with utmost commitment and priority.