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home. However, children are susceptible to abuse. This is likely to be the fate of the street children who are detained by the police on the pretext of being a “vagrant”. Children found homeless and taken by the police are often confined in vagrant homes and shelters.

204.Though significantly reduced in the recent years, there are children in the Jails, with mothers, and with adult prisoners in some cases. The environment of these homes and shelters are being attempted to make child-friendly. The Government is in the process of reviewing the Vagrancy Act, 1943, for possible amendments or repealing.

205.The legal age of criminal responsibility is a major issue in the administration of juvenile justice. The minimum age of criminal responsibility has been raised from seven to nine years in 2005. The birth registration system is going to be more effective now that the new law has been enacted and other initiatives undertaken mainly with the support of UNICEF and NGOs, both national and international.

206.The Consultation Meetings at Divisional Level organized in connection with this CRC report informed that District Level Task Forces have been constituted to monitor number of children in police custody or in jails and suggest transfer of them, if any, to KUK or any safe home.


A.  Measures taken on the concluding observations

207.Over the years, the ADP allocation for health sector is increasing, ranging from 8 to 9 percent of the total annual budget since fiscal 2001-02, though in terms of requirement the amount is not adequate.

208.Health Nutrition & Population Sector Programme (HNSP) for improvement of care facilities and accessing them by all, especially poor, women and children in particular are increasingly undertaken and emphasized by the Government. A major milestone for health sector was formulation and approval of National Strategy for Maternal Health in 2001 (under HPNSP as a separate component). A gender-equity strategy was developed to provide direction on gender mainstreaming in the Programme. A Gender Advisory Committee, with representation from MoHFW and other sectors, was established.

209.Safe motherhood is promoted through various initiatives/activities. Capacity building of doctors, nurses and other health workers is a continued process. A cadre of Skilled Birth Attendants (SBAs) are being developed to ensure safe delivery at home. Steady but considerable progress has been made in increasing the coverage of Emergency Obstetric Care (EmOC).

210.There has been a steady decline in the infant mortality rate from 87 live births per thousand to 66 in 2000 to 65 per thousand in 2004. Considerable progress in child nutrition has also been made in the recent years. The percentage of children aged 6-59 months with stunting decreased from 48.0 percent in 2000 to 46 percent in 2005; underweight decreased from 51.0 percent in 2000 to 39.7 percent in 2005; and wasting decreased from 17 percent in 1995 to 12 percent in 2000 and remained same in 2005.

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