The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights on Sunday asked social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, to share origin of posts advertising direct adoption of children orphaned by Covid, and warned of strict action if its directions are not complied with. During the second surge of coronavirus cases, the commission said, it had received complaints and been made aware of many social media pages and posts that advertised about adoption of children who lost their parents to the infection.
In a letter to Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp and Telegram, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) said that any such adoption, which happens without following procedures of the Juvenile Justice Act, are illegal and in violation of the law. The commission said that the Supreme Court has said no adoption of affected children should be permitted contrary to the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, and had directed state governments and Union Territories to take action against NGOs or individuals indulging in illegal adoptions. The NCPCR asked social media platforms that in cases where such posts are made, information of the same must be reported to law enforcement authorities and/or to the NCPCR or commissions in states or Union Territories. Social media platforms must provide details of internet protocol (IP) address, origin of the post and other such relevant details, so that the NCPCR can recommend for necessary action in the matter, the apex child rights body said in its letter.
“In case of inaction or non-reporting of the same from your (social media platforms) end, to the commission or to law enforcement authorities, the commission will be compelled to take strict action against your good offices,” the NCPCR said. “This matter is of a serious nature connected with the safety and security and protection of rights of children in the country and must be treated with utmost commitment and priority by your good offices,” it said.
In its letter to the social media platforms, the NCPCR also said that a compliance or action taken report of the same, may be sent to the commission within 10 days. According to the commission, 3,621 children have been orphaned during the pandemic, and over 26,000 children have lost one of their parents.