The Centre for Child and the Law (CCL), NLSIU was established as a specialized multi-disciplinary Research Centre of NLSIU on April 1st 1996. The Centre integrates research, direct field action and teaching on child rights law; and uses law and socio-legal strategies as a tool for transformative social change in order to enable children to live with dignity. The specific aim of CCL is to ensure social justice, human rights and quality of life for all children in India, with special focus on equitable quality education, care, protection and justice for marginalized and excluded children. The objectives of the Centre are to enable children to be treated as rights holders, to help institutionalise the human rights based approach into policy, law and practice on children, and to build the capacity of state and civil society for more effective realisation of child rights. CCL has recently intensified work on a basket of academic courses, drawing from its engagement with research and direct action, and has recently launched the pioneering PG Diploma in Child Rights Law through Distance mode in 2008. This course is being co-ordinated by Dr. Neetu Sharma.
In July 1999, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, endowed the Juvenile Justice Chair at NLSIU. CCL is currently implementing a range of programmes with support from various donor partners. The main institutional funding for the Centre was supported by HIVOS (Dec 1999 – Sept 2009), focusing on the programme on Juvenile Justice and Universalisation of Equitable Quality School Education, while also supporting the PG Diploma in Child Rights Law. The Sir Dorabji Tata Trust has now taken over this role from October 2009 till September 2012. Child Rights and You (CRY) had supported the infrastructure costs of CCL and the Documentation Centre. UNICEF India Country Office, who had supported the Centre in its early years is now a partner to implement a 2 year project titled ‘Justice to Children through Independent Human Rights Institutions’ aimed at supporting the Commissions for Children under the CPCR Act 2005 in effectively fulfilling their mandate and function. The Karnataka Legal Services Authority supports a range of activities, including one that aims at evolving a model of a Child Friendly Family Court and one on Right to Food. Other donors include National Foundation for India and NUEPA. Policy research, legal reform, sustained advocacy and lobbying with the state/central government and active participation in social movements have been undertaken over the years. Smaller research projects have also been undertaken on issues such as ‘children as Victims of Armed Conflict and Communalism’ in the States of Manipur and Gujarat, Rights of Children with Disability in the JJ System, and Child Sexual Abuse.
The JJ team has made significant contributions to the lives of children under state care as well as to the issue by impacting the law and State Rules on Juvenile Justice under the JJ Act 2000. This early work has had a direct influence on the JJ Model Rules 2007. The team has also partnered with the State Government to build the capacity of state functionaries, civil society actors and judicial authorities under the JJ Act. The Education Team engages with primary stakeholders to contribute to the process of universalisation of equitable quality school education to all children in general and children of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Minorities and other disadvantaged/excluded sections in particular. The field extension programme of this project is located in Bidadi, a rural outskirt of Bangalore. The team has made significant contributions to the debates on Right to Education across the nation, and aims to ultimately create a national system of education on the lines of common school system. This is based on the principles of neighbourhood school as referred in various policy documents. The team, in collaboration with social movements, has also played a crucial role in translating the Right to Education as one of the Fundamental Rights in the Constitution through a suitable and appropriate Constitutional Amendment at the National level. One of the outstanding contributions at the State level is the drafting of delegated legislation under the Panchayat Raj Act of Karnataka to provide legal status to School Development and Monitoring Committees in the state. This is considered to be a revolution in the area of community participation at the school level and is in operation since June 2006.
Working on the UNICEF supported project to support the Commissions for Children, the team has recently contributed recommendations for progressive Rules under the CPCR Act 2005. The appointment of Dr. Niranjan Aradhya VP, senior staff of the Centre, as Member of the Karnataka Commission for the Protection of Child Rights is a valuable asset in helping to achieve the goals outlined for this project. CCL’s Documentation Centre, which is now integrated with the University Library provides information backstopping for various areas of social science and legal research, though Child Rights in particular and intersectoral issues concerning children remain the focal area.
The strategies adopted by CCL include the adoption of the human rights based approach, the participatory action research approach and the inter-disciplinary approach, and critical engagement with academia, local communities and social movements to positively impact the human rights of children. The Centre is staffed by persons who bring with them rich field experience and a commitment to social transformation. This helps ensure that CCL sustain its core strategy to remain a site for the creation of innovative grounded knowledge from below and clinical legal education on child rights law.
All programmes are geared towards ensuring accountability of the state as duty bearer while working from within and outside the system to trigger institutional and structural reform. The Centre has 11 staff, 7 consultants, 8 volunteers and a number of NLSIU student volunteers working on its various projects.
The Centre Co-ordinator is
Dr. Neethu Sharma, Fellow, Ph.D
Tel. No: 080-23160528: 080- 23160532/533/535
Ms. Arlene Manoharan, Fellow & Programme Head
Dr. Niranjan Aradhya,. Fellow & Programme Head(Education)
Dr. Neetu Sharma, Fellow & Projects Manager
Mr.Pramod Naikodi, Research Associate(Legal(JJ))
Ms. Anuroopa Gilliyal, Research Officer Legal
Mrs. N. Pushpa , Professional Asst.
Other Staffs comprise Mr. Kumar Swamy T. , Mr. Rajendra Prasad, Reserch Assistant, Mr. G. Prakash, Village Educatin Coordinator, Mr. Chetan D.P. Village Education, Coordinator, Mr. Nisar Ahemed, Driver cum Office Assistant, Sakamma V, Village Education Co-ordinator, Shashikala R. , Village Education Co-ordinator,
For more information, please contact
Centre for Child and the Law
National Law School of India University
P.O. 7201, Nagarbhavi,
Bangalore 560 072
CCL (Direct Tel/Fax) + 91- 80 - 23160528
NLSIU + 91- 80 - 23160531 - 535