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Centre urges people not to share information on social media about children in distress

Government has urged people to not share information on social media about a child found abandoned or in distress as it can put the child’s life at risk. The Women and Child Development Ministry has said such information should be reported to CHILDLINE on 1098.

The Supreme Court had recently expressed concerns about the illegal adoption of children orphaned by COVID-19. It directed State Governments and Union Territories to act against NGOs which are indulging in illegal adoption.

They were asked to take stringent action against agencies and individuals who are responsible for indulging in illegal adoption of children affected by COVID-19.

Invitation to persons for adoption of orphans is illegal as no adoption of a child can be permitted without the involvement of Central Adoption Resource Authority, CARA.

Several children are facing serious distress in the event of parents getting infected or hospitalised due to COVID. Some of them have lost their parents to the pandemic.

States and UTs have been directed to continue identifying the children who have become orphans or lost a parent after March 2020 either due to COVID or otherwise.

The identification of the affected children can be done through Childline, health officials, Panchayati Raj institutions, police or NGOs. District Child Protection Units must contact the affected child and his guardian immediately on receipt of information about the death of parents.

Assessment must be made about the availability and willingness of the guardian to take care of the child. If not, the child should be produced before the Child Welfare Committee immediately.

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