Child Rights Clinic lecture series on Children’s Rights in the Indian context

The Child Rights Clinic (“CRC”) at O.P. Jindal Global University hosted a webinar series on “Children’s Rights in the Indian context” over the course of the semester. The CRC was established in the midst of the pandemic in 2020 by Prof Ajay Pandey, Jindal Global Law School and focuses on addressing legal issues faced by children in India.

The aim of the webinar series was to facilitate education and conversation on contemporary child rights issues among students, the legal fraternity, and relevant stakeholders. The webinars encompassed a multitude of topics which were addressed by leading experts in the field.

The first lecture in the series focused on “POCSO & its efficacy in safeguarding the rights of child sexual abuse survivors”. The panel consisted of Ms. Bharti Ali, Co-founder of HAQ center for child Rights and Ms. Swagata Raha, Head, Restorative Practice at Enfold India. They discussed the efficacy of legal and psychosocial help provided to child victims and lacunae in law and obstacles in practice in this regard. They also discussed contemporary issues like consensual sexual relationships between adolescents.

The second webinar addressed the “Efficacy of the Juvenile Justice Act in rehabilitation and reformation of children in conflict with the law”, the panel consisted of Mr. Ashish Kumar, Director Legal Interventions at HAQ: Centre for Child Rights, Ms. Vaidehi Subramani, Chairperson, Child Welfare Committee and Ms. Urvashi Tilak, Director, Restorative Justice at Counsel to Secure Justice. The panel addressed the efficacy of rehabilitation and reformation by the JJB’s, CWC’s and other stakeholders and the importance of psychosocial intervention in this regard. The panel also delved into the importance and need of alternative justice mechanisms for children in conflict with the law which promote reformation and rehabilitation.

This was followed by a webinar on “Restorative Justice and Children’s Rights”, the panel consisted of Ms. Arti Mohan, Program Officer, Restorative Justice, Counsel to Secure Justice, Ms. Alerene Manoharan, Co-Head, Restorative Practices, Enfold India and Dr. Upneet Lalli, Deputy Director, Institute of Correctional Administration, Chandigarh. They discussed the concept of restorative justice and its importance in repairing harm especially in cases of children in conflict with the law to promote their rehabilitation, reformation and reintegration.

The series concluded, with a webinar on “Children’s Rights in the time of COVID-19”. The panelists were Ms. Nimisha Shrivastava, Executive Director of Counsel to secure justice, Mr. Anurag Kundu, Chairperson Delhi commission for protection of Child Rights and Ms. Satarupa Majumder, Chairperson, Swanopuron. Ms. Nimisha discussed the increased instances child sexual abuse during the pandemic and access to legal and psychosocial help for child sexual abuse victims. While Mr. Anurag spoke about access to education for children during COVID19 with emphasis on children under the reserved quota in private schools. Ms. Satarupa concluded the lecture by discussing the increased number of orphans during COVID-19 and help provided to them by community based organizations in West Bengal.

 The series was moderated by Prof. Avaantika Chawla, Prof. Konina Mandal and Prof. Abhinav Mehrotra.

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