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Campaign for return of children held under draconian laws

Last Updated: Friday, October 12, 2012 - 15:46

New Delhi: Against the backdrop of incidents of Indian children being forcibly taken into custody in western countries, a group of eminent citizens on Friday launched a campaign demanding establishment of a mechanism to ensure return of the children held under "draconian" laws.

While appreciating India`s "robust intervention" in the Norway case where two Indian children were separated from their parents, the eminent personalities cautioned that the absence of an institutional mechanism puts such children at risk of spending their entire life away from their families.

Demanding that an intervention like the one in Norway be institutionalised, they denounced child confiscatory laws in countries like US, UK and Norway as "utterly draconian".

CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat, former Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court Mukul Mudgal, former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court A P Shah and Suranya Aiyar approached the National Human Rights Commission asking it to recommend to the Government to come out with a mechanism that would pave way for the return of such children to India.

Not just children from India who live in western countries are at the receiving end, but also those from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other Asian countries, they said.

"The NHRC has powers to recommend to the Government asking it to establish a mechanism. We expect that the Government of India intervenes urgently and raise this issue at UN fora. Let India become the voice of the children who are snatched away," Karat told a press conference.

"How can the Indian child be confiscated from extended family? It is an utter violation of minimum right of a child.

Such laws are draconian in nature," she said.

India had intervened in the Norwegian case resulting in Abhigyan and his sister Aishwarya eventually placed in the foster care of their uncle Arunabash and brought back to India in April this year.


First Published: Friday, October 12, 2012 - 15:46
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