Cases of sexual abuse in children shelter homes in Muzaffarpur and Deoria have left the entire nation in shock. Now, as per reports, the agency assigned by the Supreme Court for pan-India mapping and audit of children’s homes has been denied access to child care institutions in nine states, including Bihar and UP.

The refusal came despite the fact that the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and the ministry of women and child development ordered the states in writing. The states were told to comply with the SC orders. States where the audit agency still has to access homes includes Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Kerala and West Bengal.

Odisha, too, was among these states refusing the audit. However, the Centre’s involvement finally led Odisha to comply with the audit exercise. The reason for these states not agreeing to the audit is that they want to carry out their own audits. According to data available with NCPCR, there are 5,850 registered child care institutions as on date. However, 1,339 homes are yet to register despite the SC setting a deadline for December 31 last year.

Till now, the Lucknow-based Academy of Management Studies has carried out the audit and mapping of 3,000 institutions across states. The academy was selected through a tender process. According to NCPCR, the audit agency conveyed to them in May about some states not giving access to their records.

Earlier, some of these states had written to the child rights body expressing reservations over audit agency into these homes. NCPCR wrote back to these states seeking the WCD ministry’s intervention to resolve the stand-off. The ministry had issued an advisory in July. Also, the NCPCR put forward its status report before the Supreme Court.

For now, while Odisha has agreed to the audit exercise, NCPCR or the WCD ministry are yet to hear from the nine states on the same. Also, the NCPCR, too, has not heard from the audit agency on any positive response from these nine states.
A senior official in the ministry told TOI that they are trying to convince them when asked if states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh were planning to join the audit.
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