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QUESTION NO.1611 CHILDREN OF NRIs SEPARATED FROM PARENTS

March 16, 2017

RAJYA SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.1611
TO BE ANSWERED ON 16.03.2017

CHILDREN OF NRIs SEPARATED FROM PARENTS

1611. SHRI NARAYAN LAL PANCHARIYA:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) in how many cases, the children of Indians living abroad (NRIs, PIOs), have been separated from their parents by Child Welfare Departments of those countries during the last three years and what have been the reasons therefor;

(b) whether there was any case involving PIOs/NRIs from Rajasthan, if so, the details thereof;

(c) what steps have been taken by Government to reunite such children with their parents; and

(d) whether Government has taken any initiative to sensitise Indians going abroad with regard to child welfare norms followed in such countries, if so, the details thereof, if not, the reasons therefor?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[GEN. (DR) V. K. SINGH (RETD)]

(a) While the local authorities generally do not notify the Missions/Posts of such cases wherein the children of the Indians living abroad have been separated from their parents as they carry out their own investigations, as per the records available in Ministry and Missions/Posts abroad, during the last three years, nine (9) such cases have come to the notice of the Ministry. These cases pertain to New York, Norway, Australia, Kenya & Copenhagen. Abuse of child/not raising/caring the child as per the local rules and regulations/beating of the child by the parents/adults are cited the reasons for taking the children away from their parents.

(b) Yes, there was a case from Rajasthan. According to the parents, their son fell down at their home and had injuries on his head. When the child was taken to the nearest hospital emergency ward, the doctors at the hospital involved the Department of Child Potection and Permanency (DCPP), who suspected the case as child abuse. With the intervention of the Consulate and the community, the custody of the child was transferred to a near relative of the parents.

(c) In such cases the Ministry and our Missions/Posts abroad have strongly taken up the matter with the concerned foreign governments, including at the Ministerial level urging them to resolve such cases quickly, and return the child to the natural parents so that they can be brought up in familiar surroundings under the love and care of their extended family as this would be in their best long term interest.

Ministry has urged the foreign governments to take a humane approach and to send the children back to India so that they can be brought up in their own ethnic, religious, cultural, spiritual and linguistic miliu and social environment. In some cases, the affected parents also have initiated legal proceedings against the Child Welfare authorities. The Indian Missions are in regular contact with such parents and are supporting them in pursuing the matter as per their wishes. Missions through Indians organisations have guided and sensitised such affected families and the community in general about the provisions and implications of Child Welfare regulations including providing information on NGOs who help such families in distress.

(d) A large number of developed countries have strict child custody laws. The Ministry of External Affairs is considering suitable steps to address issues that may arise from such strict laws to sensitise Indians going abroad.

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