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Supreme Court's 'interim' order: Children shouldn't be sent to Assam detention centres

By Our Representative
In what is considered a big win for the human rights organization, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), the Supreme Court has asked the Assam government to ensure that no children of parents, whose names have been included in the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) list, be sent to detention centres or be separated from their parents.
The CJP, led by well-known rights defender Teesta Setalvad, involved in fighting for the victims of the Gujarat 2002 riots, is known to have made major interventions in Assam during the NRC process, whose final list, published on August 31, 2019, last money, excluded 1.9 million people as they failed to provide necessary documents to prove their citizenship.
Based in Mumbai, CJP’s application had reportedly sought directions from the apex court that no child excluded from NRC is either sent to detention camps or separated from their parents in Assam.
CJP said, that children have been excluded from the NRC final list even when their parents are included, which amounted to direct contravention of the state’s obligation towards children as envisaged under Article 15 (3), Article 39 (e) & (f), Article 45 and Article 47 of the Constitution of India, and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.
Attaching a list of 61 such excluded children, the CJP plea refers to the case studies of three children were to “help” the apex court understand the ground realities and “sufferings” of families separated due to this arbitrary process of NRC.
Referring to one Hasmat Ali’s case, who has three minor children, the plea states, while his and his wife’s name was included in NRC, their children’s names have found no place in it, and since then he has had to rush from one hearing to another held at far-away places, collecting documents, incurring huge expenses and taking debt ensure his children do no end up in detention camps.
Attaching a list of 61 such children, CJP refers to the case studies of three children to 'help' the apex court understand the ground realities
Each of the 61 children excluded from NRC have a similar story of struggle and financial distress from which it will take a much longer time to recover, the application claims, noting that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which India has ratified, makes it obligatory under Article 8 for all State Parties to respect the right of the child to preserve his or her identity, including nationality, name and family relations.
Also, says the CJP plea, Article 9 holds State Parties responsible for ensuring that a child is not separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child.
The application asks the apex court to pass orders to the office of the coordinator to immediately take steps to ensure that no child is left out of the NRC especially in cases where the parents/ guardians/ caregivers are included in the list. It also asked that in the interim, the court pass orders directing state of Assam not to take any coercive action against the children or separate them from their families.

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