Empowerment of Children and Human Rights Organisation (ECHO) was founded in 2000 by Dr. Antony Sebastion O. Praem, Advocate. His Master thesis "An Echo Of The Cry From The Streets Of Bangalore: A Study Of The Problems Of Street Children – A Legal Perspective" (Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, sponsored by the Government of The Netherlands). The work gave insights into the problems that street children encountered, legal inadequacies concerning them, non-implementation of legal instruments and possible interventions by voluntary agencies.
The study showed that disrespect for rights of juveniles who come in conflict with the law and government apathy, often leads juveniles to face justice systems which treat them impulsively and offer less protection compared to adults. After ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, many countries have tailored their juvenile justice laws to promise children the rights set forth in the Convention and in other international instruments.
Legislative reforms can be constructive steps on the path of recognition of the specific rights of children.
ECHO was started to empower Children in Conflict with Law and Children in need of Care and Protection, under the Indian Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act 2000. The implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act forms the framework of our activities. In short ECHO gave voices to thousands of neglected and delinquent children through legal aid, counselling, and releasing children from Government Observation Homes, Reception Centers and Children’s Homes. Legal proceedings for the transition of children to ECHO's Transitional Home and Rehabilitation Center are undertaken. The centre also provides informal education, vocational training, job placements and follow ups to monitor the released juveniles. Through our successful network of NGOs we lobby at Central and State Government level to implement laws concerning Child Rights. Furthermore, we also conduct training on the juvenile justice system- to police personnel, magistrates and government officials. It is therefore our humble pride and pleasure to say that we continue to empower children in difficult circumstances every day.