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JUDICIARY AND CHILD RIGHTS: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS WITH CASE LAWS

Ashutosh Anand and Kaustubh Kumar,1st Year, National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi

 

INTRODUCTION

In biological terms, a child (plural children) is a human being between the phases of birth and adolescence or between the developmental period of infancy and teenager. Children have similar general human rights as adults and addition to that, specific rights that acknowledge their particular needs. Children are neither the helpless objects of charity nor are they the property of their parents. They are human beings and subjugated to their rights. According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), 1989, the definition of a child is "any human being below the age of eighteen years, unless under the law applicable to the child, the majority is attained earlier."

Children's rights comprise their right of human identity, association with either parent in addition to the basic needs for food, universal state-paid educational facilities, healthcare facilities, physical protection, and criminal laws suitable for the age and development of the child, equivalent protection of the civil rights of the child, and freedom from discrimination and differentiation based on the child's gender identity, sexual orientation, race, colour, nationality, disability, ethnicity, caste, and creed, or any other characteristic.

The onus of safeguarding and sheltering the child rights is on the government in particular and society in general. Despite this, protection and penalizing mechanism for violation of child rights rest on the judiciary's shoulders. Indian judiciary actively played a crucial role in protecting child rights and sometimes come forward with new innovative ideas to prevent child abuse, child trafficking, etc.


RIGHT TO EDUCATION versus CHILD LABOUR

Child labour and the Right to Education are the two faces of the same coin. If a child is indulged in child labour, then he cannot get a quality education, or even if he performs both things simultaneously, then it will turn out to be mental as well as physical torture for the child. Hence, the Constitution of India restricts child labour in hazardous industries in Article 24, while Article 21A, 45, and 51A(k) together impose a duty on the state and parents for a child's education. The Supreme Court in Unni Krishnan J.P. & Ors. vs. State of Andhra Pradesh & Ors.[1]declared that the right to receive education by child workers is an integral part of Article 21. Although, this right is not absolute. Its parameters and contents have to be determined and inspected in the light of