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General Principles of Care and Protection

General Principles of Care and Protection
General Principles of Care and Protection

Section 3. General principles to be followed

Section 3 outlines the overarching principles to be observed by the Central Government, State Governments, the Board, the Committee, or any other relevant agencies in the administration of this Act. These principles serve as the moral compass guiding the implementation of its provisions. Let's delve into each principle:

Presumption of Innocence: Until reaching the age of eighteen, every child is to be regarded as innocent, free from any presumption of malicious or criminal intent.

Dignity and Worth: All individuals, regardless of age, are entitled to equal dignity and rights, affirming the intrinsic value of every human being.

Participation: Each child has the right to express their views and participate in decisions concerning their well-being. Their opinions should be given due consideration, taking into account their age and maturity.

Best Interest: The paramount consideration in all decisions regarding a child is their best interest, aimed at nurturing their full potential and holistic development.

Family Responsibility: The primary duty of caring, nurturing, and protecting the child lies with their biological, adoptive, or foster family.

Safety: Ensuring the safety of the child is paramount, with measures taken to prevent any harm, abuse, or maltreatment while under the care and protection system, as well as thereafter.

Positive Measures: Mobilizing all available resources, including those within families and communities, to promote the well-being, foster identity development, and create an inclusive and supportive environment, thus minimizing children's vulnerabilities and the necessity for intervention under this Act.

Non-Stigmatizing Semantics: Avoiding the use of adversarial or accusatory language in all processes involving a child, promoting a supportive and non-threatening atmosphere.

Non-Waiver of Rights: No waiver of any child's rights is permissible or valid, irrespective of whether it is sought by the child, a representative, or any governing body. Non-exercise of a fundamental right does not equate to waiver.

Equality and Non-Discrimination: Ensuring that no child faces discrimination based on any grounds, such as gender, caste, ethnicity, place of birth, or disability. Every child is entitled to equal access, opportunities, and treatment.

Right to Privacy and Confidentiality: Upholding every child's right to privacy and confidentiality throughout all processes and legal proceedings.

Institutionalization as Last Resort: Placement in institutional care should only be considered as a last resort after a thorough inquiry into alternative options.

Repatriation and Restoration: Every child within the juvenile justice system has the right to be reunited with their family at the earliest opportunity and restored to the same socio-economic and cultural status as before, unless such measures are not in their best interest.

Fresh Start: Unless under special circumstances, all past records of a child within the juvenile justice system should be expunged, allowing for a fresh start and the opportunity for rehabilitation.

Diversion: Encouraging alternatives to judicial proceedings for children in conflict with the law, unless it is deemed to be in the best interest of the child or society as a whole.

Principles of Natural Justice: Ensuring adherence to basic procedural fairness standards, including the right to a fair hearing, impartiality, and the right to review, by all individuals or entities acting in a judicial capacity under this Act.


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