The Delhi High Court has given a committee five months to draft guidelines on ways to prevent sexual abuse of children in schools and educational institutes.
The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights had on January 30 formed a committee on the orders of the court with representatives of the department of women and child development, Delhi State Legal Services Authority, Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights, the chairperson of the Child Welfare Committee, one magistrate from the Juvenile Justice Board and two representatives from NGOs on child sex abuse issues as members.
“We direct the said committee to frame such guidelines before July 31, 2013, and submit it to Delhi government for approval and necessary action. The Delhi government shall take a decision on the guidelines within three months thereafter,” said a bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice VK Jain.
The court directed the Centre and the Delhi government to organise training programmes for authorities of schools, child welfare committees, police and hospitals for better implementation of the guidelines.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Haq Centre for Child Rights which pointed out that despite a spate of child abuse cases, the Capital did not have any guidelines to prevent sexual abuse of children. The Juvenile Justice Act Rules make it mandatory for the authorities to frame such guidelines.
“While the guidelines will go a long way in preventing sexual abuse of kids in schools and other educational institutions, making it easier for children to lodge a complaint, the entire focus at present is towards taking action against the accused after the incident,” its lawyer Anant Asthana told the court.
The development comes four days after the court, acting on another PIL, asked the Delhi government and directorate of prosecution to take a stand on the demand for special courts and prosecutors to try cases of sexual abuse of children.