India was being mentioned in the report of the Secretary-General on Children and armed conflict since 2010 along with other countries of Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Lake Chad basin, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Philippines for alleged recruitment and use of boys by armed groups in Jammu and Kashmir; detainment of boys by Indian security forces in J&K for their alleged association with armed groups, or on national security grounds; children killed and maimed by Indian security forces, including by the use of pellets; unidentified perpetrators, crossfire between armed groups and unidentified perpetrators, and crossfire and shelling across the line of control.
The Government of India had been consistently engaged in efforts to exclude our country’s name from this ignoble list. The ongoing engagement of the Government of India with the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) sped up after an inter-ministerial meeting was held in November 2021 with Shri Indevar Pandey, the Secretary Ministry of Women and Child Development , Ministry of External Affairs, Permanent Mission of India at New York, and the MHA from the Government of India, and Ms Virginia Gamba, Special representative of the Secretary-General for Children and the UN officials in New Delhi. It led to an agreement to appoint a national focal point to identify priority national interventions to enhance protection of children, joint technical mission to hold inter-ministerial, technical-level meetings with the UN to identify areas of enhanced cooperation for child protection. Under the guidance and leadership of Smti. Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Minister of Women And Child Development, a road map for cooperation and collaboration on child protection issues was developed by the Ministry.
The technical team of the office of the SRSG visited India on 27-29 July 2022. This was followed by a workshop on strengthening child protection held in Jammu & Kashmir in November, 2022 by the Ministry of WCD in collaboration with the MHA, and the Govt. of J&K with the participation of the United Nations. All statutory service delivery structures like the Child Welfare Committee and Juvenile Justice Boards under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015 have been established.
In view of the measures taken by the Government to better protect children, India has been removed from the report in 2023.
Image source: Scroll.in