Below is a short summary of some of the key issues from the Committee on the Rights of the Child's 66th session concluding observations for India. Read the full text, and you can find other documents related to the Committee's 66th session (including alternative reports submitted by NGOs and the Committee's concluding observations for other States reviewed in this session) on the Committee’s session page.
Children’s rights and the business sector: The Committee recommends that the State party establish and implement regulations to ensure that the business sector complies with international and national human rights, labour, environment and other standards, particularly with regard to children’s rights.
Non-discrimination: The Committee is concerned at the persisting discrimination against children from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, children with disabilities, children with HIV/AIDS as well as asylum-seeking and refugee children. The Committee recommends that the State party adopt and implement a comprehensive strategy addressing all forms of discrimination against children. It further recommends that the state party ensure that children in disadvantaged situations have access to basic services and enjoy their rights under the Convention.The Committee further urges the State party to adopt a comprehensive approach to combat discrimination against girls and women, including its root causes.
Best interests of the child: The Committee recommends that the State party develop procedures and criteria to provide guidance to all relevant persons in authority for determining the best interests of the child in every area and for giving it due weight as a primary consideration. The Committee further recommends the establishment of effective monitoring and evaluation procedures in this regard.
Respect for the views of the child: The Committee recommends that the State party take measures to ensure the effective implementation of legislation recognising the right of the child to be heard in relevant legal proceedings, including by establishing systems and/or procedures for social workers and courts to comply with the principle and to conduct research to identify the issues that are most important to children and the channels through which they currently and potentially can have the most influence on national and local decision-making.
Birth registration: The Committee expresses its concern at the low level of birth registration in general. The Committee strongly urges the State party to expedite the adoption of the amendments to the Registrations of Births and Deaths Act (1969), make it accessible to the population, and guarantee both birth registration and the prompt issuance of a birth certificate.
Right to identity: The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to end the practice of anonymous abandonment of children and to strengthen and promote alternatives as soon as possible including by providing the necessary services.
Nationality: The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to provide stateless children belonging to communities in border areas with a nationality in line with article 7 of the Convention and consider ratifying the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons.
Freedom of thought, conscience and religion: The Committee recommends that the State party take all appropriate measures to ensure that every child, whatever his or her parents’ religion is, has the right to enjoy freedom of religion.
Corporal punishment: The Committee recommends that the State party explicitly prohibit all forms of corporal punishment against children under 18 in all settings throughout its territory.
Abuse and neglect: The Committee urges the State party to ensure that all forms of sexual abuse of girls under 18 years of age, including marital rape, are fully criminalised. The Committee further urges the state party to to ensure mandatory reporting all of cases of child sexual abuse and take necessary measures to ensure the proper investigation, prosecution and punishment of perpetrators.
Child marriage: The Committee urges the State party to ensure the effective implementation of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA, 2006). It also recommends that the State party take the necessary measures to combat dowry, child marriage and devadasi.
Helpline: The Committee recommends that the State party ensure the availability free of charge of the 24-hour helpline for children to all children.
Children deprived of a family environment: The Committee recommends that the State party establish adequate support services for parents, as well as establish a system of kinship and foster care for children and promote the use of clear criteria for determining whether a child should be placed in alternative care.
Adoption: The Committee recommends that the State party review its legislation on adoption with a view to harmonising it in line with the Convention and with the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation of Inter-country Adoption (1993) and ensure the effective implementation of the Guidelines Governing the Adoption of Children (2011). The Committee urges the State party to ensure that the best interests of the child are the paramount consideration and that the sale of children is criminalised.
Children with disabilities: The Committee recommends that the State party develop a national plan of action for children with disabilities which integrates all provisions of the Convention and allocate resources to support parents of children with disabilities with the aim to prevent the abandonment of these children.
Health and health services: The Committee further urges the State party to ensure access to safe water and sanitations services. It further encourages the effective implementation of the National Food Security Act (2013) which contains provisions aiming at combating children’s undernourishment and urges the State party to enhance efforts to promote exclusive breastfeeding practices and ensure full vaccination of all children.
Sexual and reproductive health: The Committee urges the State party to take measures to ensure that adolescents have effective access to confidential sexual and reproductive health information and services.
HIV/AIDS: The Committee urges the State party to improve access and coverage of antiretroviral therapy, prophylaxis and follow-up treatment for HIV/AIDS infected women and children as well as access to quality, age-appropriate HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health services.
Standard of living: The Committee is concerned at the high percentage of people living below the poverty line. The Committee recommends that the State party take all necessary measures to combat poverty and to eliminate urban-rural, social, caste and tribe based disparities in children’s standard of living through, inter alia, social protection and targeted programmes.
Education: The Committee recommends that the State party take the necessary measures to improve the quality of education, introduce child rights education in the school curricula and further urges the State party to adopt specific programmes aiming at decreasing the high school drop-out rates and ensuring that children are supported in exercising their right to education.
Attacks on schools: The Committee urges the State party to use all means to protect schools, teachers and children from attacks, and include communities in the development of measures to better protect schools against attacks and violence.
Early childhood education: The Committee recommends that the State party incorporate early childhood care and education into the RTE Act as part of the education system and allocate sufficient resources for the implementation of this policy at all levels with the aim to ensure universal, high quality early childhood education and care services to all 0-6 year old children.
Asylum-seeking and refugee children: The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen existing child protection systems, including the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) and guarantee refugee and asylum-seeking children access to education and health. It further urges the State party to release asylum-seeking and refugee children in detention and grant them access to UNHCR.
Child labour: The Committee recommends that the State party develop a comprehensive strategy to prevent and eliminate all forms of child labour, including sanctions against individuals involved in child labour. This includes establishing a database on the types and extent of child labour.
Children in street situations: The Committee recommends that the State party develop and implement a comprehensive policy which should address the root causes and should avoid in all situations treating children in street situations as criminals.
Sale, trafficking and abduction: The Committee recommends that the State party establish a comprehensive and systematic mechanism of data collection on the sale, trafficking and abduction of children. It further urges the State party to conduct awareness-raising activities.
Administration of juvenile justice: The Committee urges the State party to bring its juvenile justice system fully into line with the Convention and to give effect to the Juvenile Justice Rules of 2007 establishing the minimum age of criminal responsibility at 18 and to ensure that detention is used as a last resort.