According to the manual ‘Living conditions in Institutions for Children in conflict with Law’, staffers at government homes for juveniles are not allowed to kiss, hug or fondle children, or use offensive language or beat them. The manual was issued by the Women and Child Development ministry when the apex court asked to prepare a list of dos and don’ts for juveniles in government care.
“Do not sleep alone with any child or use corporal punishment or tolerate corporal punishment by other staff members”, the ministry said in a code of conduct.
The manual asks all staffers to ensure a sense of “openness” to facilitate greater interaction with children, said the ministry on Friday.
It also asks the staffers not to discriminate children on the basis of gender, disability, ethnicity or religion.
The manual also says that staffers and employees “should not kiss, hug, fondle, rub or touch a child in an inappropriate or culturally insensitive way…they should also not use language that will mentally or emotionally abuse the child or threaten or use abusive language.
They have also been directed “ sexual relations with a child or give cash or any kind of gifts” directly to the children.
The manual also states that ,”they should also not do things of a personal nature that a child could do for him/herself, including dressing, bathing and grooming”.
The ministry said the objective of preparing this manual was to provide guidelines to states and other stakeholders which would help them establish institutions for children in conflict with law” and provide them with appropriate institutional and rehabilitative services.