Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Care and Protection of Children in Street Situations

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  • A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Care and Protection of Children in Street Situations for their rehabilitation and safeguarding was released by Minister for Women & Child Development.
  • The SOP aims at streamlining the interventions within the current legal and policy framework.
  • The purpose of the SOP is to identify processes that should be set in motion once a child on the street has been identified as a child in need.
  • These processes would be within the existing framework of rules and policies and would create a convergence of the various agencies.
  • Besides it also provides a step-by-step guideline for all the stakeholders for care, protection and rehabilitation of these children.
  • This initiative will help the Government to ensure that health education and protection mechanisms are made available to children living on the streets.

Need for Standard Operating Procedure:

  • Children living in the streets are among the most vulnerable groups. Most of these children have little or no adult supervision and protection.
  • They also do not have access to education and basic health care living a life of struggle for survival.
  • The lack of basic care and protection exposes them to abuse, exploitation and neglect depriving them of the most basic human rights.
  • Cities in India are witnessing rapid urbanization. By 2030, 40% of India’s population is expected to be living in urban areas which mean that child population in streets will continue to grow.
  • Therefore, it is important to integrate the needs of children in street situations into urban policies and planning.