The Hon’ble Supreme Court Juvenile Justice Committee, in coordination with the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has expressed the need to increases the measures to ensure better well-being, care, and protection of children during the second wave of COVID-19.
Hon’ble Justice S Ravindra Bhat, the chairperson of the Juvenile Justice Committee, noted in a review meeting that many children have unfortunately lost either their mother or father or both of them due to the COVID-19 virus and some are living without parental supervision because their parents are admitted in the hospital. This makes the condition of children more vulnerable than ever before.
Hon’ble Justice Bhat also emphasized on some key priorities with regards to these children: Screening/medical care for the children in the institutional care, provision of emergency medicine, supplies, emergency access to the hospital, etc. and a roster of doctors available for teleconsultation, the nomination of state and district level nodal officer empowered to take the decision and constitute a task force for rapid emergency response for children during COVID-19 was also highlighted.
Additionally, Hon’ble Justice also stated that “the close coordination and collaboration between child protection system and health system is required for the prevention and the response to the second wave of COVID-19. Thus, a multi-sectoral response ensures that children and caregivers’ needs are addressed holistically and it leads to a better outcome for children”.
The review meeting was held on Wednesday and the same was attended by the chairpersons and members of Juvenile Justice Committees of various Hon’ble High Courts, and also the officials from government departments related to the health and child care system.