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Prayas Research & Studies

A. Prayas Juvenile Aid Centre (JAC) Society

Prayas Institute of Juvenile Justice (under Prayas Juvenile Aid Centre Society) set up in the year 1999 with an objective to undertake and promote research in the thematic areas of Prayas such as Juvenile Justice, Child Rights and Child Protection, Child Labour, Trafficking of Children and Women, Crises Intervention, Family Counseling Centre,Women Issues, Participation in Policy Making related to Children Missing and Runaway Children, Street Children, Violence against Children, Economic Empowerment for Youth and Women above 16 years, Vocational Training and Life Skills for Juveniles/Children’s and Adolescents above 14 years. Alternative Education, Adult Literacy and Life Skill Training, Self Help Groups,Women Empowerment and Micro Finance. It was established to conduct meaningful research and to facilitate the programs and initiatives of prevention, protection, participation and policy making related to thematic areas of Prayas. To identify good practices across the country that could be replicated elsewhere and dissemination of the same and to carry out the awareness, orientation and training program for the concerned agencies as a part of the research in order to make it accountable and committed to the cause.
Prayas Institute of Juvenile Justice clearly focuses on the rights of the children across India and deeply imbibes the four basic rights of Children as mentioned in United Nation Convention on Rights of Child (UNCRC) such as Survival Rights, Development Rights, Protection Rights, and Participation Rights.

B. Prayas -G/TIP (Trafficking in Persons)

India has huge unorganized labour force with the distinction of having largest child labour and forced labour trafficking victims. It is a source, destination and transit country for trafficking of human beings for the purposes of forced labour etc. Cross border illegal migration coupled with trafficking within Indian states pose serious problems and the unorganized labour victims are estimated to be in millions. Within the country, young women and children are reportedly trafficked, among other places, from Bihar, Assam and Gujarat to Delhi, and from Bangladesh and Nepal for CSE, physical, economic and sexual abuse.
The Indian Government has not yet explicitly recognized the country’s huge population of bonded and forced child labourers as a significant problem, which NGOs estimate to be in the range from 20-65 millions. The US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP), 2007 identifies these critical gaps, in addition to challenges in child labour, bonded labour and related trafficking issues.
Prayas was declared by the US Department of State in 2006 and simultaneously Mr. Amod K. Kanth was conferred with the title of Global Heroes on the same subject for adoption and development of best practices. Prayas Juvenile Aid Center (JAC) supported the children and young women violated by all forms of Trafficking in Persons by increasing co-ordination among Police, Concerned Government Departments, Judiciary, Prosecutors, NGO’s and other Civil Society Organizations, It increases implementation and enforcement of already existing legislation by educating service providers and the general public. The project was successfully executed in Assam. Bihar, Delhi and Gujarat

C. National Institute of Social Defence (NISD)

Prayas, in association with the National Institute of Social Defence (NISD), conducted orientation-training programmes to promote advocacy on juvenile justice and rights of the child among various stakeholders. It also regularly conducts capacity building training programmes for stakeholders to enhance their level of sensitivity and awareness on child rights and issues and augment juvenile services. These are State level training programmes, being conducted in States namely, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Bihar, UP, Assam, Uttranchal, Maharashtra and Goa.

D. National Study on Child Abuse in India

Prayas Institute of Juvenile Justice (under Prayas Juvenile Aid Centre Society), New Delhi conducted the first ever nation-wide study in 13 States of India in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India and the funding partners, UNICEF and Save the Children (UK) following a marathon consultative process. This study has been rated as unique and so far the largest in the world. This study was conducted as the Government of India’s national study and as a part of the UN initiative of Global study on violence against children.

E. Study on Juvenile Justice System in India

Prayas Institute of Juvenile Justice has conducted action-based research on Juvenile Justice System and Rights of Children in the State of Bihar & Delhi. The study, supported by Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) of the Canadian High Commission, revealed that the local authority, judiciary, police and all other stakeholders under the Juvenile Justice Act were mostly unaware about their role, authority or the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act. Many of the NGOs were also unaware as to how to help the neglected and exploited children. Among various findings, lack of proper orientation and training of the functionaries came up as a major factor in the tardy progress of juvenile justice.
Prayas Juvenile Aid Centre in association with Wipro submitted System Requirement Specifications for Juvenile Module of CAS (Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) to National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs Govt. Of India on its implementation, commissioning and maintenance of CCTNS
Prayas played pivotal role and submitted its suggestions for possible amendments to Criminal law relating to Safety and Security of Women and to keep Juvenile Justice Law intact about keeping the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000/2006 along with its legal mechanism remains unchanged.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India have accepted the Interventions Petitions filed by Prayas Juvenile Aid Center for the changes in the Juvenile Justice Act and asking for reduction in the age of children/juveniles under section 2(K) & (L) of the said act.
The case was heard on a daily basis by the bench headed by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India, and Mr. Siddharth Luthra ASG, made Government's stand clear saying that Government does not want changes in the JJ Act. Petitioners were asked to argue one by one and during the course of hearing they generally agreed to abandon the constitutional challenge when the Court asked them to clarify stand taken in the Petition. In the context of the juvenile accused his media portrayal as being the most brutal and cruel and pre-disposition of the case was strongly resented by Mr. Kanth and the petitioners were not able to describe what really constituted a heinous offence.
Mr. Amod Kanth appearing for Prayas JAC Society, a national level organization directly supporting 25-30000 children/juveniles, drew the attention of the Court to the history of the Juvenile Justice Act starting from Reformatory School Act of 1876 drawing inferences from Cr.PC and IPC. He mentioned that the JJ System originated from the Criminal Justice System when the need was felt to give a differential treatment to the Child/Juvenile. He also quoted from the Indian Jail Committee of 1919-20 which condemned the practice of sending Juveniles to jail and recommended for setting-up separate machinery for the trial and treatment of children in conflict with law. He further quoted Sec 82, 83 and sec 363 (A) of the IPC which deals with the subject of the children and explained that there is no contradiction between the JJ Act and the IPC. He mentioned that the Juvenile Justice system has evolved starting from the time IPC was formulated and most of the laws in India during the past nearly 150 years had considered the child upto 18 years. He agreed that the rights of children as enshrined in the UNCRC/the constitution and other laws are required to be protected for variety of reasons, including their age of majority, entitlement to vote and legal action, driving, marriage etc.
Mr. Kanth further stressed on the need of Rehabilitation and social reintegration of the Juveniles comprising adoption, foster care, sponsorship and aftercare which is listed under section 44 of the JJ Act. It was brought to the notice of the Hon’ble Court about a programme being undertaken by the Prayas JAC Society by the name of ‘Yuva Connect’ to reform and rehabilitate nearly 100 juveniles involved in serious offences in the context of ‘aftercare programme’ for the Juveniles and Children. He highlighted about the need and benevolent provisions of the JJ Act being implemented through ‘Yuva connect’ which was adopted when juveniles were within the Prayas Home and also when they moved out from the protective settings to the real world, and they tend to get back into the same life and conditions which led them to delinquency. That is why, there is a need for the aftercare programme as provided under the law and practiced in many advance countries, but yet to be implemented in India. During the course of Mr. Kanth’s arguments, the Hon’ble Chief Justice inquired “whether the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) was only on paper”

F. Study on Neglected Children in South Delhi Slums & Child Watch India

Prayas has to its credit a number of research projects and review reports, which are considered to be useful instruments for policy change and advocacy. Some of the major publications are: Neglected Child: Changing Perspectives, Prayas Towards Justice to the Juvenile: A Study on Neglected Children in South Delhi Slums and Child Watch India, a research journal, etc

G. Study on Situational Assessment of the Newly Arrived Children on Railway Stations in Delhi Prayas a

Prayas along with Sathi Bangalore did a study on Situational assessment of the newly arrived children on Railway stations in Delhi.
The objectives of the study were:

HomeEstimating the no. of children who leave home and reaching and landing up in New Delhi railway platform area HomeUnderstanding the reasons for leaving home and child protection issues
HomeFinding out the problems faced by the children on the platform
HomeRecommendation for partnership programme and child protection strategies
HomeUnderstanding the work of Railways, with emphasis on station authorities i.e. station master, Railway police force, GRPF
HomeRecommending a feasible plan of action for Delhi state with backward and forward linkage to source states
HomeThe outcome of the study resulted in the monitoring of children at railway stations and booths were created by Railways which were manned jointly by NGO and RPF providing support to runaway children’s and rescuing the trafficked children.

H. Manual for SJPU/Police Officers and Associated Persons

Prayas was given the work To develop appropriate Manual for SJPU/Police Officers and associated person in collaboration of the partnering agencies and making the manual user friendly and comprehensive document after due diligence, for the members of SJPUs and other concerned stakeholders by NIPCCD. The manual was developed by organising consultation across the country with various level of police officers and NGOs

I. Research & Publications

Prayas has to its credit a number of research projects and review reports, which are considered to be useful instruments for policy change and advocacy. Some of the major publications are: Neglected Child: Changing Perspectives, Prayas Towards Justice to the Juvenile: A Study on Neglected Children in South Delhi Slums and Child Watch India, a research journal, etc. Multiple studies have been carried out, which are listed out for ready-reference.

J. An Action-Based Project on Urban Homelessness in the NCT of Delhi

A National Campaign for Good Urban Governance as part of the Global Campaign and also as a distinct programme in India. Such campaigns are directed towards the one billion people reportedly living in the world without adequate shelter and basic services, mostly in the slums and squatter settlements. Half of the human population is today estimated to be living in cities and slums, sizeable number of them in environmentally uninhabitable and under conditions of abject poverty. India having a staggering 275 million population now living in the cities and with a much faster pace of urbanization in the offing, this campaign is relevant for us. The migrants, particularly the poor who come to the bigger cities looking for livelihood, pose a threat, real or imaginary, to the existing population. There is little appreciation for the historical truth that the migrants bring in fresh energy and drive, and they create vibrant urban settlements, which grow into the cities with immense potential as engines of socio-economic developments.

The new vision of ‘inclusive city’ as a place wherein everyone, including the urban poor, women, youth and even the marginalized groups, can contribute productively, appears to be gaining some currency in the context of our pronounced policy of urban governance. The good urban governance also incorporates such inclusion in terms of policy reforms, socio-economic sustainability, efficiency, transparency and accountability. It presupposes a demand driven and flexible system as opposed to bureaucratic and unresponsive governance, participated by the political masters and officials alike. The daunting challenges of the greater numbers, inadequacy of resources and services, urban poverty, environmental hazards cannot just be wished away in the face of the massive influx in the city, the governance has to re-engineer itself to these enormous challenges. In the light of our constitutional, national and international commitments, our own national programmes deserve a pro-poor slant to promote good governance as a means to urban poverty reduction. A participatory approach needs to be forged amongst the Government, local-self authorities, NGOs and also the poor and the homeless who must become partners in this inclusive system, instead of being the objects of socio-economic exclusion from the urban scene.

In the context of the similar background and the problems of the homeless, the Action Aid, India, a voluntary organization headed by a senior IAS Officer sponsored the said project called, ‘Delhi for Change’ led by Mr. Amod K. Kanth, IPS, General Secretary, Prayas on study leave from the Government to primarily to mobilize resources and build support for homeless people in the city.

The specific objectives of the project are as under:
Raise awareness and mobilize financial resources and space for shelters and other forms of support for homeless people from individuals, organizations, religious bodies, trusts, companies, donors, Mobilize resources and support from the Delhi Administration/government for homeless people, Mobilize volunteers for raising awareness and funds, associate professionals, such as, doctors and lawyers for providing support to homeless people.

Under the said project, the strategies and activities envisaged include sensitization of individuals and organizations, mobilizing financial resources and voluntary support, particularly from the charitable organizations who are willing to help the homeless people. Needless to mention that the Govt. alone cannot undertake such massive responsibility despite our commitments as a welfare Govt., hence the need for mobilizing resources and support from all quarters. In this regard, an awareness campaign has already been launched by the project ‘Delhi for Change’’ to sensitize the civil society and they have also created a team to raise other forms of resources and create a support system.