India Current Affairs 2018

Latest India Current Affairs and Current Affairs related to Government policy, polity and administration in India. India’s National Current Affairs updates for 2017

Recommendations of Rajesh Bindal committee on Inter-country removal and retention of children

The Justice Rajesh Bindal committee has submitted on legal issues related to inter country removal & retention of children its report to Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD). Along with its recommendation, Committee has also submitted draft legislation- International Child Abduction bill to the Government.  The WCD Ministry will be sharing the report with Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Law Ministry and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for their comments and inputs.

Recommendations of Committee

Government should establish ‘Inter Country Parental Child Removal Disputes Resolution Authority (ICPCRDRA)’ and stressed upon need for mediation as first step. The authority will be chaired by retired High Court Judge and shall have members from Legal and Social sector background along with representatives from key Ministries. It will envisaged to provide one window solution in cases of inter country removal and retention of Children. The authority will examine inter country cases of removal and retention of children vis-a-vis cultural context, merit of case, and best interest of Child.

Background

There are over three crore Indians living abroad having cross-border marriages. When such diverse marriage breaks down, their children suffer as they are dragged into international legal battle between their parents over their custody. In this battle children are abducted by one parent and taken to country with different culture.

Currently, there is no specific legislation in India addressing issues related to abduction of children from and into India. Law Commission of India (LCI) in its 218th Report titled Need to accede to Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980 had prepared draft legislation titled “The Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Bill, 2016 to address the issue and support India’s accession to Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980.

Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980

Hague Convention is multilateral treaty that seeks to protect children from harmful effects of abduction and retention across international boundaries by providing procedure to bring about their prompt return. 94 states are party to it. India is not signatory to it (as country has to have domestic law in place before it can become signatory). The convention is applicable to any child, up to age of 16 years who is habitual resident of any of contacting states.

Mandate

  • Enhance international recognition of rights of custody and access arising in place of habitual residence.
  • Ensure prompt return of child who is wrongfully removed or retained from place of habitual residence.
  • Return children abducted or retained overseas by parent to their country of habitual residence for courts of that country to decide on matters of residence and contact.

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Protected Area Permit regime: MHA allows foreign tourists to visit Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has relaxed six-decade-old protected area permit (PAP) regime to allow foreign tourists to access border areas of Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur for five years with effect from April 1, 2018 with protected area permit (PAP). The move is being initiated to promote tourism, create job opportunities for the locals and generate revenue for the states. However, citizens from Pakistan, China and Afghanistan, will remain  to be banned from all PAP areas, including Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur.

Protected areas Regime and Protected area permit (PAP)

Under Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order, 1958, all areas falling between Inner line and International Border of some states have been declared as protected areas. The protected areas currently include whole of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Sikkim, besides parts of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir. Some parts of Sikkim fall under protected area regime while others under restricted area regime. As per MHA’s December 2010 circular, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland were excluded from protected area regime initially for a period of one year from January 2011, subject to some conditions.

Guidelines: Under Protected areas Regime, foreign nationals are not normally allowed to visit protected or restricted area unless Government is satisfied that there are extra-ordinary reasons to justify their visit. Every foreigner, except citizen of Bhutan, who desires to enter and stay in protected or restricted area, is required to obtain special permit (PAP) from competent authority having power to issue such permits to foreigner, seeking it. Citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals of Pakistani origin are exception and are not allowed to enter such areas.

Permit issuing Authority: Necessary powers have been delegated to various authorities to issue such special permits without prior approval of MHA to facilitate foreign tourists subject to certain exceptions In cases of foreign diplomats, including members of United Nations (UN) and international organisations holding diplomatic or official passports, special permits to visit such protected or restricted areas are issued by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). In cases of citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals of Pakistani origin, no permit can be issued without prior approval of MHA.

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