Shelter homes can’t deny admission to HIV-positive children: SCPCR

YAMUNANAGAR: The State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) has directed the authorities concerned to admit children, including those suffering from HIV, in need of care and protection in shelter homes.

editorial@tribune.com

Shiv Kumar Sharma

Yamunanagar, December 8

The State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) has directed the authorities concerned to admit children, including those suffering from HIV, in need of care and protection in shelter homes.

The directions were issued on Monday after The Tribune published a news report, "Government agencies deny shelter to HIV-positive boy", on Sunday.

“The commission has issued directions to the Yamunanagar District Child Protection Officer, District Child Welfare Officer, chairman of the Child Welfare Committee and authorities of Balkunj in Chhachhrauli. They were asked not to refuse admission to children, including those suffering from HIV, in need of care and protection,” said Sushil Verma, member of the SCPCR.

Children suffering from HIV, cancer and other diseases needed special care, he said, adding they could be accommodated in shelter homes such as Balkunj temporarily. “Once a permanent arrangement for their shelter is made, they can be discharged.”

The government-run shelter homes enjoy the status of child care institutes under Section 34 of the Juvenile Justice Act, which provides for admission of children, including those suffering from any disease, in shelter homes.

A 14-year-old HIV-positive boy, with the help of his elder sister and NGO Child Helpline, had been searching for a shelter home in Yamunanagar district since August 2014. The government agencies had reportedly denied shelter to him.

The boy had been admitted to a shelter home in his home state (not Haryana) after the virus was detected several years ago. His elder sister is settled in Yamunanagar.

It was impossible for his sister to keep him with her family, so she had been making efforts to admit him at Balkunj, a government-run shelter home, since August 2014, but in vain.

The boy left his studies when he was in Class VIII.

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