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Pune activists demand clarity in new child policy

The policy has a unique feature where it says every employee should sign a declaration that he will respect children, support the right of children,protect them from any kind of harm or abuse and always report any child abuse, exploitation or neglect

pune Updated: Dec 29, 2018 14:44 IST
Nozia Sayyed
Nozia Sayyed
Hindustan Times, Pune
The crimes against children especially child sexual abuse and reporting of such incidences have doubled.
The crimes against children especially child sexual abuse and reporting of such incidences have doubled.(HT/PHOTO)
         

With crimes against children, especially child sexual abuse on the rise and increase in reporting of such cases with the 1098 child helpline, activists who are working towards child protection, claim that the recently uploaded draft policy on child protection by the ministry of women and child development of India need to stress on implementation of the said rules and points in the policy. 

The policy has a unique feature where it says every employee should sign a declaration that he will respect children, support the right of children,protect them from any kind of harm or abuse and always report any child abuse, exploitation or neglect. This policy has been appreciated by the activists of the city, However the city activists demanded that the policy needs to have clarity. 

Anjali Pawar, child rights activist who is working against child trafficking, said, “Even though the policy seeks all the employees’ declaration on supporting children and reporting abuse against them, the draft’s definition of employees of which organisation is not mentioned. It is very vague and one cannot understand. Also why employees? Why not colleges or such institution? Hence clarity on the definition of an organisation is needed. Besides that it lacks an important point which the ministry has failed to cover that is, rights of disabled children or their parents. There is no mention of these. One cannot deny that crimes or abuse are also commonly seen against these children too and they are more vulnerable both physically and mentally; hence the government should also consider these children and their rights.” 

Whereas sharing on increase in crimes against children, Anuradha Sahasrabudhe, director Childline (1098) said, “In the last few years, the crimes against children especially child sexual abuse and reporting of such incidences have doubled. Not only this but the level of abuse and degree of crime has gone from bad to worse. The level of torture children are suffering is worse and extreme. We are seeing, horrible rapes, sexual exploitation, mothers harming their own children almost every month. Parents think children are safe if there is a CCTV installed but we are still seeing many babies especially in fancy nurseries getting harmed and thrashed badly by the staffers where they take the place to such a place where the camera does not record and still beat the baby black and blue. The level of crimes has increased. Every month at least five to six cases of a child getting raped are getting reported, whereas 15 physical abuse cases every month too are coming to us with other crimes against children. This data has doubled in the last five years and hence we need strong policy for child protection,” she stressed. 

Talking about her recommendation, She said, “We as a Children helpline hold lectures and awareness campaigns and even though the ministry has mentioned now in the draft about employees giving a signed declaration about their support towards children, we along with many other NGOs in Pune have already pledged in writing to take care of child rights and report any untoward incident against the children if any.” 

The main concern is implementation, she said. While Pawar added, “As it is observed that many FIRs or complaints against the accused in cases of child trafficking or child sexual abuse are made, the cases are hardly seen reaching their conclusions. Therefore, we need strong watchdogs who will take care of this which also needs to be added to the policy,” ended Pawar. 

The ministry that has sought suggestions from various stakeholders for drafting the national policy for child protection has declared January 4 as its last date and hence all those who would like to create a child friendly environment and help report crimes, should send their suggestions to mksingh.ofb@nic.in. 

First Published: Dec 29, 2018 14:43 IST

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