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HAQ has been particularly concerned about children vulnerable to neglect, violence, abuse and exploitation and those in conflict with law.
The juvenile justice system in India is designed to address two categories of children, those in conflict with the law, and those in need of care and protection which includes children who are begging, in prostitution, neglected children, abandoned children, abused children and street children, all of them with different needs and vulnerabilities.
India has had interventions on social justice for children first through the National Children’s Act, 1960, then the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986 and presently the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000, as amended in 2006.
However, the concerns that relate to children who fall within the purview of the law, in particular, and the system as a whole, have remained largely un-addressed and there are enough cases to highlight the inadequacy of the legal system, particularly in the implementation of the juvenile justice law both in letter and spirit.
Increasingly more and more children are falling prey to these inadequacies and need legal aid, referral service and adequate care and rehabilitation.
HAQ aims to amend this situation by entering the arena of law by directly engaging in cases relating to children. HAQ’s Legal Aid and Resource Centre for Children is equipped with a full time lawyer and two counselors.
Additionally, the two directors provide support wherever required. The cases are either accessed through the internet or media reports or come to us as a follow-up of trainings and workshops, from partner organisations, from Child Welfare Centres or from the police.