The Legal Aid Cell will perform the following Functions and Activities:
a. Legal Representation
Children in need of immediate assistance shall be provided with such care and protection as required by law. Any such action shall be in accordance with the procedures established by law and may be through complaints/ representation before various authorities of law enforcement and/ or other social justice and welfare mechanisms and courts of law. For e.g., the Cell may receive a complaint of a trafficked child being abused and acting upon the case, the Cell may send a person with the legal opinion on the course of action to be taken by the Police/ Magistrate/ other relevant authority for appropriate action for rescue of child, prosecution of trafficker and rehabilitation of child.
The Cell will also coordinate with SLSAs to provide suitable legal aid to pursue cases. SLSAs shall provide suitable legal support in their respective cases.
b. Legal Counselling
Complainants in need of legal aid/ assistance/ advice in cases of violations of child rights may seek all aid/ assistance from the Legal Aid Cell, even for pursuing cases filed for the prosecution of child traffickers, etc., by counseling the child/ witnesses who are the victims, so that they are able to testify in court without fear. Psychological support in such cases can also be extended.
c. Legal Advice
The Cell shall render such aid/ assistance/ advice to the complainant as well as send its legal opinion in such cases to the concerned govt. authorities for suitable action. Governmental and Non Govt. Organisations, Civil Societies, Self Help Groups, Voluntary Organisations, Parents, Relatives, Concerned Friends and Members of the public may, on behalf of the Children in need of care & protection, approach the Cell and receive legal advice regarding the legal rights of children and the means for accessing those rights. The Cell will provide requisite information and advice to the concerned regarding the legal options available for protecting the interest of the children. The Cell will also assist the concerned in making a decision regarding various options available to pursue the case and if required help in formulation of complaints, petitions, etc. ;
d. Legal Awareness
Steps will be taken for sensitization of Judicial officers, Govt. officers, Police officers, etc. and conduct skill enhancement programs for panel lawyers.
e. Coordination with all SLSAs and Govt. Departments
The Cell will operate a Network Referral System, whereby victims can be referred to the State Legal Services Authorities for legal services in resolving legal issues. If a information is received by the Cell about an offence committed or likely to be committed in another State, the concerned SLSA would be informed and requested to render all assistance in the case and to further submit an action take report, for effective coordination. Also a person in need of help, who is located in another State, can be directed by the Cell towards the nearest point of assistance in that State. The Cell will actively build this network and stimulate the free flow of information and constructive thinking concerning child rights in India.
f. Undertake Research based survey and make suitable suggestions
The Cell shall take up Research based surveys and make suitable suggestions to the Central or State Governments for effective implementation of laws on child rights especially dealing with prohibition of Child Labour and ensuring social re-integration and rehabilitation.
g. Publication of informative legal material for general awareness like handbills, pamphlets, etc., for general awareness.
h. Academic activities including development of Standard Operating Procedures, legal rules and guidelines on specific cases, publication of periodical newsletter, etc.
i. Periodical reporting of follow up actions about rescued/ assisted children shall be undertaken by the Legal Aid Cell. State Legal Services Authorities and/ or other govt. authorities will apprise and assist the Cell in cases of follow up.
j. Information Collection and Data Management
The Legal Aid Cell will collect complaints and other information regarding cases of the violation of child rights from various sources and all data concerning cases will be recorded in a database system of BBA, for the sake of the correct and mutually comparable recording of relevant data.