NCPCR holds workshop on ‘Child Rights: Contemporary Challenges in Telangana’
“Only laws can’t protect children, the mind-set of society needs to change”: Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan, Hon’ble Governer of Telangana
09 NOV 2022 5:16PM by PIB Hyderabad
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights which is mandated to spread child rights literacy held a one day Orientation cum Sensitization programme on ‘Child Rights: Contemporary Challenges in Telangana’ in Hyderabad todaywhich was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Governor of Telangana and Lt. Governor of Puducherry, Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan said that children are like flowers and they should be handled carefully with love and care. She said, “It is disheartening to see cases of sexual harassment of children. Saying that mere laws can’t protect the children and the mind-set of society needs to change, the Hon’ble Governer exhorted the parents to be a role model and mould the kids instead of just imposing conditions. “Happy and healthy children are the foundation of a progressive society” she opined.
Hon’ble Governor of Telangana inaugurating the workshop
The following issues were discussed during the workshop:
Timely identification of children related issues.
Lack of monitoring of Children Homes.
Convergence and information sharing with all important stakeholders.
Effective use of MASI portal.
Emerging issues related to cyber safety of children.
Child trafficking cases, knowledge sharing and their tracking for effecting action.
In today’s digital age, children use technology not only for attending school online classes, but also for recreation.Therefore, it is important that the commitment of the Government to provide a safe learning environment to children extends to the digital space as well. As per the NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) data of 2021 a total number of 1081 cases of Cyber Crimes against children were registered in India. Out of these, 164 cases were reported from Karnataka followed by Kerala (138), Andhra Pradesh (40),Tamilnadu (15) and Telangana (3). The NCPCR has developed a Manual on Safety and Security of Children in Schools. The manual also includes FAQs and a checklist for different stakeholders such as State/District authorities, school managements, teachers and students to understand the safety parameters put in place by the schools/educational institutions.
In order to monitor the Child care institutions (CCI) the NCPCR has developed an App base monitoring tool called ‘Monitoring App for Seamless Inspection’ (MASI). This App is helping the officials for seamless inspection of CCIs of their jurisdiction. Through this tool an online live data of CCIs inspection is available which is used by the officers for repatriation of children to their homes and track improvements done after first inspection visit to the next visit. The issue of child trafficking also came up for discussion in the workshop.
Earlier, welcoming the gathering, Smt. D. Divya, Special Secretary and Commissioner of Women Development and Child Welfare to Govt. of Telangana, said that all stakeholders, be it at the central or state government level should join hands to ensure that the children get safe and nourishing environment to grow up. She talked about the initiatives that the Telangana Government has undertaken like Bal Rakshak vechicles , Bharosa Centers, Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs) , POCSO Courts etc to support women and children who are victims of violence.
The workshop was supported by Bharat Niti, a public policy advocacy platform and saw the participation of members of Child Welfare Committee, District Child Protection Officers, Advocates, NGOs working in the field of Child Rights, School Principals and Teachers. Activities like orientation on Cyber Crimes and Prevention, session on Child Trafficking and orientation session of MASI App were undertaken during the day long workshop.
National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is celebrating Elimination of Child Labour Week in the honour of World Day Against Child Labour in the 75 places as part of the “75th anniversary celebrations of India’s independence – “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” in different districts starting from 12th June to 20thJune, 2022 as a significance to pay attention to the problem of child labour and to find ways to eradicate it.
In this regard, rescue operations in 75 places where children are involved in labour work, in the scrap & automobile markets across the countryshall be conducted during 12th -20th June, 2022 with the help of authorities like State Commission (SCPCR), District authorities, Child Welfare Committee, DLSA, Child Line, Police/SJPU,Labour Department and other stakeholders.
For these rescue operations, Virtual meetings via video-conference were conducted with DMs, officials of SCPCRs, DLSAs, SJPUs, LabourDeptt., Childline & other Stakeholders to discuss the process of Rescue Operations to be taken by them during the Elimination of Child Labour Week.More than 800 officials from 18 States/UTs participated in the meetings.
The NCPCR has developed a draft SOP on the rescue and post-rescue of child labour incorporating all provisions of various children related Acts which are applicable in these cases. Endeavour has been made to simplify the understanding of the process laid down for inquiry and rehabilitation of children who are victim of child labour cases.
Also, the Commission is under the process of creating a separate link for child labour for their rescue and rehabilitation process in the Balswaraj Portal of the NCPCR.
National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has been constituted by the Government of India, as a statutory body under section 3 of the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005 for dealing with the protection of child rights and related matters. Under section 13(1) of the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005, has provided certain functions to ensure that the rights of children are protected especially the most vulnerable and marginalized. In addition, the Commission has also been mandated to monitor the implementation of the Juvenile Justice (Care & Protection of Children) Act, 2015, Right of Children to Free & Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 and Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.
Taking inspiration from Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s “Pariksha Pe Charcha”, and continuing its endeavor towards making examinations a joyful activity, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) will be celebrating Pariksha Parv- 4.0 from 11th April, 2022 to 31st May, 2022. NCPCR has been celebrating exams with its campaign ‘Pariksha Parv’ since 2019, intending to change the outlook of children towards exams stress and overcome their anxiety before exam result at a platform.
Pariksha Parv 4.0 is an endeavor for providing a platform for students, parents and teachers to share their thoughts and get guidance and important tips from the experts. In stressful times, talking about and sharing the uneasy and confusing thoughts would help mitigate stress and anxiety of students to a great extent.
This year, a multi-pronged approach shall be followed with the objective of reaching out to teachers and parents in addition to children. Pariksha Parv4.0 will include the following activities:
i) Live streaming sessions from 11th April, 2022 to 31st May, 2022 on Facebook,Twitter,YouTube of NCPCR and YouTube of Doordarshan National and New India Junction to enable students to interact with experts to reduce their exam stress and worries before exam results.
ii) SAMVEDNA- (1800-121-2830) is a toll-free Tele counseling service of NCPCR by trained Counsellors for COVID related stress which will now be extended for students to cope up with exam and result related queries, stress and anxiety.
National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) as part of a series of regional meetings, today held the Northern Region Consultative meeting on “POCSO: Factors hindering the Implementation and aspects of assistance to victims” at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. Representatives from the NLSA, SVPNPA, NFSU and BPR&D participated in the programme. More than 500 participants across Northern India i.e. Learned Judges of the District Courts, Advocates of DLSAs, Forensic Experts and Police officers from the States of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and UTs of Delhi, Chandigarh, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh and SCPCRs attended the regional consultative meeting.
Hon’ble Mr. Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, Judge, Supreme Court of India was the Chief Guest. Shri Priyank Kanoongo, Chairperson NCPCR, Shri Ashok Kr. Jain, Member Secretary, NALSA and Ms. Rupali Banerjee Singh, Member Secretary, NCPCR in the presence of Padma Shri Dr. Sunitha Krishnan and Dignitaries of SVPNPA, NFSU, BPR&D and NALSA from 10 States/UTs inaugurated the Regional consultative meeting by the ceremonial Lighting of the Lamp.
NCPCR has been organizing regional level consultative meeting with key stakeholders on POCSO.Regional consultative meetings have already been held in Odisha covering Bihar and West Bengal and also in north-eastern states of Assam, Manipur, Sikkim & Arunachal Pradesh. NCPCR has a mandate to monitor POCSO Act, 2012, Section 44 r/w & rule 12 of the POCSO Rules, 2020 whereby it monitors the status of implementation of the POCSO Act by seeking information from the States/UTs on the following 1. Setting up of Special Courts, 2. Appointment of Special Public Prosecutors, 3. Formulation of Guidelines by all States/UTs for the stakeholders for the implementation of the POCSO Act, 2012, 4. Designation and Implementation of module for training of police etc, 5. Steps taken by State Govt. for spreading awareness on POCSO Act and 6. Collect information and data on its own or from relevant agencies regarding reported cases of sexual abuse and their disposal under the processes provided under the Act.
Addressing the gathering at the inaugural session, Shri Priyank Kanoongo, Chairperson, NCPCR greeted all the participants with the new year wishes on the occasion of Gudi Parva and Ugadi and welcomed the Hon’ble Mr. Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and other dignitaries. He stated that POCSO is an exemplary piece of law for children as it not only penalizes the crime against children, but also provides provision for the rehabilitation process. He said that NCPCR and SCPCRs are continuously working for the welfare of the children and their rehabilitation. He said that during this consultative meeting, the gaps and loopholes existing in the process, hindering the implementation and aspects of assistance to victims will be discussed to find a way forward to achieve the optimum result in this matter in the best interest of children.
Shri Kanoongo requested all the participants to make a commitment that by next year we are able to address the key issues and focus on successful restoration and rehabilitation of child victims.
Hon’ble Mr. Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, Judge of Supreme Court of India expressed gratitude to Shri Priyank Kanoongo, Chairperson NCPCR for holding such consultative meetings on an important issue. This effort is well-timed given that we now have a decade worth of experience in the implementation of this Act. Shri Bhat highlighted the limitations in law in dealing with Acts that undermined the dignity and autonomy of women and children, ranging from behavior that is now termed “stalking” to pornography, or physical contact, and associated Acts, which were not the subject matter of any penal law, were recognized and appropriate legislative measures adopted, in other countries. These laws contain nuanced provisions criminalizing behaviour that involve unwanted physical contact of different types and hues, have the propensity to harass and discomfit women and minors (including minors of either sex), or demean them.
Shri Bhat also mentioned that the IPC was sought to be amended, which after 2012 enhanced existing punishments and also criminalized certain new offences – sexual harassment, forceful forced exhibition of pornography, criminal force with the intent to disrobe, voyeurism, stalking, etc.He emphasized that the state’s obligation cannot be shouldered by anyone else – it is the State which has to fill in these gaps, build infrastructure by setting up more special courts, and undertake capacity building to train and sensitize many stakeholders who are the backbone of this system.
He further added “POCSO Rules, 2020 mandates that the central and State Government, shall provide periodic training including orientation programmes, sensitization workshops and refresher courses to all persons, whether regular or contractual, coming in contact with the children, to sensitize them about child safety and protection and educate them regarding their responsibility under the Act. But what cannot be denied is that a very large part of the state’s obligation is financial in nature; to see improvement of the overall system, no matter how well-intentioned these Rules and policies may be, they will not suffice unless the State prioritizes allocation of large funds towards building a framework of care and rehabilitation for these child victims. As of May 2021: 640 Fast Track Special Courts, including 338 exclusive POCSO Courts have become functional in 26 States/UTs. However, a worrisome figure of pendency remains. Access to swift justice remains elusive, further prolonging the trauma faced by children. Being alive to this fact, by checking in with different stakeholders to rectify mistakes being made, resulting in inordinate delay, is thus imperative to ensure better functioning of the Act in the future.”
Shri Bhat concluded his address by highlighting a few priority areas i.e. item-wise identification of priority areas, identify the needs of policies and strategies, flag whatever is needed including adequate funding and make it a document to work upon for the respective jurisprudence that may be administrator, police, judges or even any support person. This is an important platform of consultation to put the things together for future action.
In order to get diverse views, Technical Sessions were organized and the Commission invited representatives from various fields to deliberate on this important issue. Padma Shri Dr. Sunitha Krishnan shared her views about the role of the stakeholders in the legal process followed for POCSO victims. She stressed on proper training and sensitization of the stakeholders and the need of providing them with compensation and rehabilitation.Shri Anurag Kumar (IPS), Deputy Director – Training, Bureau of Police Reseach and Training (BPR&D) discussed in brief the procedure and the role of police in cases pertaining to POCSO and how these amount to miscarriage of justice. He also discussed at length the concept of double victimization and need for a less stringent Act.Dr. K.P.A Ilyas (IPS), Faculty Incharge, Centre of Children, SVPNPA expressed his views and ground experiences to explain the nature of training of police personnel. Shri Ashok Kr. Jain, Member Secretary, NALSA focused on providing the compensation to POCSO victims under various schemes and laws at different stages of the investigation and trials.Prof. (Dr.) PurviPokhriyal, Dean, School of Law, NFSUexplained the legal compliance of investigation in relation to the collection of forensic evidence and the challenges in collection of forensic evidence and stressed on the involvement and training of all the stakeholders.
National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) in collaboration with Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) conducted a National review cum Consultation on “Roll out of Joint Action Plan” in the States, here today. This Joint Action Plan is a policy document prepared based on various laws, regulations, policies and programmes that are already in place. It is an initiative to prepare a convergent platform for action at various levels starting from School, District to State wherein actions are indicated for various departments and authorities to implement. The Joint Action Plan was prepared by the NCPCR & NCB and released on 9th February, 2021. In first phase, the Joint Action Plan has been rolled out in 272 vulnerable districts identified by the NCB and Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. NCPCR has started monitoring the implementation from April, 2021 and District-wise review meeting was held virtually in July-August, 2021.
Representatives from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Ministry of Education, NDDTC- All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), United Nations Organization for Drugs Control (UNODC) and Gandhi Smriti & Darshan Samiti (GSDS) participated in the program. Participants from the States included, Chairpersons and Members of SCPCR’s, Officers from the Deptt. of Home, WCD, Social Justice, Health, Excise, State Drugs Controller, State AIDS Control Society and Police.
Shri Satya Narayan Pradhan, DG, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in his inaugural address mentioned about some of the special initiatives of NCB i.e., running an online e-pledge through mygov.in to spread awareness against drugs especially among the youth of the nation. Till date more than 14 lakh people have taken this virtual pledge against drugs. He hoped that till 15th August, 2022, i.e., the 75th anniversary of India’s independence at least 75 lakh people would have taken the e-pledge. He requested all the participants to take this e-pledge and also make others aware of the same. NCB along with NCPCR, through social media platforms, has undertaken the task of streaming celebrity video messages on JAP – ‘Ek Yudh Nashe ke Virudh‘. Further, he suggested for the creation of a mechanism for co-ordinated action between 8,000 Nasha Mukt Bharat volunteers, who are presently working in 272 vulnerable districts alongside NCB and State Police officers in performing the stated objectives of the campaign.
Shri Priyank Kanoongo, Chairperson, NCPCR in his address stated about the background of preparing the Joint Action Plan. He mentioned that the Prime Minister takes a keen interest in the issues related to children and personally monitors the programmes and activities meant for children. He had expressed his concerns about the drugs & substance abuse amongst children and directed NCB and NCPCR to undertake a joint initiative involving all the authorities and stakeholders. He stressed that awareness and sensitization is crucial for preventing drugs.
District Magistrates/Collectors of 20 Best Performing Districts viz: Namsai, Udalguri, Chandigarh, Daman, South Goa, Sirsa, Shimla, Udupi, Thiruvananthapuram, Shillong, Jabalpur, Narsinghpur, Champhai, Mehsana, Gajapati, Patiala, Bundi, Thiruvenlveli, Etawah, Uttarkashi on roll out of Joint Action Plan (from July to December, 2021) were felicitated in the programme.
Video Messages of Bollywood Actor/Actress on ‘Ek Yudh Nashe ke Virudh‘ were also released in the programme.
In this review meeting, States made their presentations on the progress made on different indicators provisioned under the JAP. During the review, focus was laid on the strict implementation of the provision of installing CCTV cameras in the chemist shops selling Scheduled X & H drugs, tobacco free zone of the school areas, awareness, and roles to be played by all the stakeholders. The participants agreed to implement this Joint Action Plan in all Districts of the Country.