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India Launches Portal for Restoration, Repatriation of Children

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has developed and launched the Go Home and Re-Unite (GHAR) portal to digitally monitor and track the restoration and repatriation of children in the country.

According to a press release, the portal facilitates the digital tracking and monitoring of children who are in the Juvenile Justice system and must be repatriated to another country, state, or district. It also enables the digital transfer of cases of children to a particular state’s Juvenile Justice Board/Child Welfare Committee. A request to the state government can be made through the portal when there is a need for a translator, interpreter, or expert.

On the portal, a checklist format will be provided in the necessary forms so that the children who are hard to repatriate or children who are not getting their entitled compensation or other monetary benefits can be identified.

By digitally monitoring the progress of the case of the child, Child Welfare Committees and District Child Protection Officers can ensure their proper restoration and rehabilitation. A list of government-implemented schemes will be provided on the portal so that at the time of restoration the Child Welfare Committees can link the child with the schemes and ensure that they remain with their family.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development is administering the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 (JJ Act, 2015) (as amended in 2021) and Rules, to ensure the safety, security, and well-being of children. The Act provides for the protection of children in need of care and protection and those in conflict with the law by catering to their basic needs through care, protection, development, treatment, and social re-integration.

In June, NCPCR launched an application under the Baal Swaraj portal to help rehabilitate children in street situations (CiSS). Baal Swaraj enables the real-time online tracking and monitoring of children in need of care and protection.

As OpenGov Asia reported, the CiSS application is used to receive and log CiSS data from every state and union territory in the country. It will track a child’s rescue and rehabilitation process. The portal has two functions: COVID-19 care and CiSS. The COVID-19 care link caters to children who have lost either or both parents due to COVID-19 or otherwise post-March 2020. It follows a six-stage framework.

In the first stage, through the portal, the child’s details are collected. The second stage is filing a social investigating report (SIR), which investigates the child’s background. The District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) from the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) supervises this process by talking to and counselling the child. An Individual Care Plan (ICP) is formulated in the third stage. The fourth stage involves getting an order from the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) based on the SIR submitted to the committee. The fifth stage is allocating the schemes and benefits that the beneficiary can avail of.  The sixth stage consists of a checklist to evaluate the progress or follow up on the report.

Reporting a child under the CiSS link will lead to a form that will ask for the child’s and the informant’s details. Once registered, a registration ID is generated along with the contact information of the concerned DCPO to follow up. The DCPO will get information about the child on the portal’s dashboard and will take the case forward.

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