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LUCID MAINS CURRENT AFFAIRS 2018

  1. SHELTER HOMES

WHAT ARE SHELTER HOMES?

Shelter homes provide secure accommodation for women and children who are at risk of or have been subjected to violence, although they contribute far more than just a safe place to stay. Shelters provide essential aspects of protection, services and resources which enable women and children who have experienced abuse to recover from the violence, to rebuild self-esteem, and to take steps to regain a self-determined and independent life.

In India shelter homes for children are defined under Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, and Model Rules as children homes, open shelters, observation homes, special homes, places of safety, specialized adoption agencies and fit facilities.

WHY IN NEWS RECENTLY?

Recently, Medical reports of people staying in shelter home in Muzaffarpur , Bihar  have so far confirmed sexual abuse of more than 30 girls and again same issue was found in Uttar Pradesh shelter homes too. News broke after an audit conducted by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). The TISS audit found that almost all 110 government-funded institutions were run in violation of the mandate of the respective schemes and also the Juvenile Justice Act.

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MEASURES FOR SHELTER HOMES

  • Swadhar Greh scheme launched by Department of Women and Child Development to cater needs of women in difficult circumstances
  • Special funding for NGOs to maintain shelter homes
  • Inclusion of shelter homes in Juvenile Justice act and Anti Trafficking bill to increase the protection of affected person
  • UJJAWALA Scheme for rehabilitation of abused girls

INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS PROMOTING SHELTER HOMES

Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action,(1995) which called on States to “provide well-funded shelters and relief support for girls and women subjected to violence, as well as medical, psychological and other counseling services and free or low-cost legal aid, where it is needed, as well as appropriate assistance to enable them to find a means of subsistence.” 

IMPORTANCE OF SHELTER HOMES

  • To cater to the primary need of shelter, food, clothing, medical treatment and care of the women and children in distress and who are without any social and economic support.
  • To enable them to regain their emotional strength that gets hampered due to their encounter with unfortunate circumstances.
  • To provide them with legal aid and guidance to enable them to take steps for their readjustment in family/society.
  • Support members economically and emotionally through Vocational and skill up gradation trainings and Counseling, awareness generation and behavioral trainings
  • They increase awareness and understanding among women and girls of what constitutes gender-based violence and violations of their human rights

ISSUES OR PROBLEMS WITH SHELTER HOMES

  • Lack of proper Auditing.

Eg: Recently, Audit conducted by National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) found that only 54/2874 institutions had all the records of a child that they are supposed to maintain. Of the 203 special adoption agencies, only eight deserved positive reviews. And has been functioning without any problems for years.

  • Under staffed and overcrowded shelter homes. Due to which the members live in unhygienic atmosphere. Due to lack of cooking staffs in some homes they fail to provide food on time to the people staying
  • Lack of proper funding.
  • Auditing found that many state sponsored shelter homes lack funds due to which they fail to provide basic necessities to people staying there
  • Increased abuse of members by organizations running shelter homes and staffs working there.

Eg : Recent news from Muzzafurpur and Munger in Bihar . NGOs running homes were concerned with making profit rather than taking care of inmates. This resulted in staffs abusing inmates due to lack of monitoring

Way a head

  • Improve funding for shelter homes with strict monitoring.
  • Provide special legislation for shelter homes to prevent any abuse in future
  • Regular social audit should be conducted at shelter homes along with Government auditing.
  • Make provisions for increase in staffs and adequate facilities in shelter homes.

Eg : one staff for five members and providing with hygiene and feel like home atmosphere along with proper vocational training , education , health checkups and special facilities for counseling.