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Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is legal in the home, some alternative care settings, day care, some schools and as a sentence for crime in traditional justice systems.
Overview of the child rights situation

India has many problems in implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the child mortality rate is high and instead of fighting structural problems or initiating a mind shift in society, for example, children with disabilities are treated with medication and placed in special institutions instead of making society more inclusive.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee is seriously concerned at the lack of access to sexual and reproductive information and services, including modern contraception methods, by adolescent girls and the consequently high rate of teenage pregnancies, widespread use of female sterilization and unsafe abortions in the State party. To improve the situation, the Committee recommends to take measures to ensure that adolescent girls and boys have effective access to confidential sexual and reproductive health information and services, such as modern contraception and legal abortions for girls, in practice. In that context, the State party should guarantee that the views of pregnant teenagers are always heard and respected in abortion decisions.

Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous childrenThe Committee is seriously concerned that, despite the State party’s initiatives aimed at addressing inequalities and improving living conditions and access to education, health and social services of religious minorities, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, many children belonging to these groups continue to be deprived of a number of their rights under the Convention.The Committee urges the State party to strengthen its efforts to ensure that all children, irrespective of their religious background or whether they are from a scheduled caste or scheduled tribe, enjoy the entire range of rights enshrined in the Convention.
Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee is deeply concerned at the high rate of abandonment of children with disabilities by their parents. It is further concerned at the lack of coordination among relevant ministries in planning and implementing programmes for children with disabilities as well as at the State party’s approach to children with disabilities, which is mostly centred on institutional care and medical treatment.
The Committee urges the State party to adopt a human rights-based approach to disability and specifically recommends that it develop a national plan of action for children with disabilities which integrates all the provisions of the Convention as well as indicators to measure outcomes and ensure effective coordination among relevant ministries for its implementation. India should also allocate adequate human, technical and financial resources to support parents of children with disabilities with the aim of preventing the abandonment of children with disabilities and take adequate measures to ensure that children with disabilities fully enjoy their rights as enshrined in the Convention, including access to education, health care and social services.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe Committee is concerned about the statelessness of children born in villages situated in border areas between the State party and Pakistan, such as children belonging to the Kutchi community, and the consequent limitation of their rights in all areas covered by the Convention. The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to provide children belonging to those communities with a nationality.Regarding refugees, the Committee welcomes several measures taken by the State party, such as the decisions to allow refugees to apply for long-term visas and work permits and to simplify the procedures for acquisition of citizenship for Hindu and Sikh refugees. However, the Committee is concerned at reports of hardships faced by asylum-seeking and refugee children in accessing services, for instance due to language barriers, discrimination against asylum-seeking and refugee children in schools by teachers and classmates, as well as in health services facilities, and limitations on the right to play in public spaces due to discriminatory attitudes. The Committee is further concerned at reports that Rohingya asylum seekers from Myanmar, including children, are routinely detained because of illegal entry into the State party.
Free kindergartenNo
Free primary and secondary schoolNo
physical health

The Committee notes the various policies and programmes in place in the State party to improve children’s health and their access to health services. However, it is deeply concerned about the persistence of disparities in the quality of and access to health services between urban and rural areas as well as the State party’s increasing reliance on the private sector to provide health services. It is also concerned about the high cost of health services for the population and the lack of regulation of the quality of services provided. The Committee is also concerned at the high neonatal mortality rates and the fact that these deaths represent 50 per cent of the 1.4 million children under 5 years who die annually in the State party as well as the high rate of maternal mortality and the fact that 55.3 per cent of women between 15 to 49 years have anaemia. India also has a high level of chronic malnutrition (stunting), wasting (acute malnutrition) and underweight among children, in particular children under 5 years. In addition, there is a low improvement in the immunization rate and only 21 per cent of children are fully vaccinated. Further, communicable diseases are prevalent among children, all of which are the leading causes of child morbidity and mortality, and there is an insufficient access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene, in particular in rural areas, along with the widespread practice of open defecation and its negative impact on the health of children (around 88 per cent of diarrhoea deaths among children under 5 years are linked to these factors).

Relation to other countries
Business sector

The Committee is concerned about the forced displacement of a large number of children and their families and the loss of their ancestral lands owing to manufacturing operations, in particular families and children living in the area of the POSCO steel plant and port facilities in the state of Odisha. It is also concerned at the lack of information about safeguards to guarantee compliance with the Convention and international human rights standards.
Therefore, the Committee recommends that the State party establish and implement regulations to ensure that the business sector complies with international and national human rights, labour, environment and other standards, particularly with regard to children’s rights. The Committee further recommends that the State party establish a clear regulatory framework for industries operating in the State party to ensure that their activities do not negatively affect human rights or jeopardize environmental and other standards, especially those relating to children’s rights.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee urges the State party to bring its juvenile justice system fully into line with the Convention and provide the Juvenile Justice Boards with adequate human, technical and financial resources, designate specialized judges for children and ensure that such specialized judges receive appropriate education and training. Also, India should ensure the provision of qualified, independent, free or subsidized legal and other appropriate assistance to children in conflict with the law, at an early stage of the procedure and throughout the legal proceedings.
In cases where detention is necessary, India should ensure age-appropriate separation of children in Observation and Special Homes and ensure that children in conflict with the law are not detained together with children in need of protection or with adults, and that detention conditions are compliant with international standards, including with regard to access to education and health services.

Specific observations

The Committee expresses its concern at the generally low rate of birth registration as well as the disparities in birth registration rates across the State party and the insufficient awareness among the relevant authorities and the population about the importance of universal birth registration. The Committee is also concerned at the discordance between the birth registration rate and the issuance of birth certificates.

The Committee is concerned at the high percentage of people living below the poverty line, despite the gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the State party. It is concerned at the prevalence of poverty among children, in both urban and rural areas, as well as the large disparities in the standard of living among children, with children in disadvantaged and marginalized situations being particularly vulnerable.

Additional background

Concluding observations on the third and fourth periodic reports released on 7 July 2014. The Committee deems the State party’s declaration on article 32 of the Convention to be unnecessary.

More information:
Education act India

Last Updated (date)22nd of February, 2022