A one day National Conference on implementation of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO)Act, 2012 was jointly organized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights(NCPCR) in New Delhi. The conference highlighted the immediate need to implement the Act better and take effective measures to deal with sexual offences against children. The Conference was attended by the representatives of Police, Legal Experts, Civil Society organizations, SCPCR, academia and WCD Departments of States among others.
The Chairperson of NCPCR, Smt Stuti Kacker in her opening address appreciated the participants for their deep commitment to protect children from sexual offences. Smt Kacker said that POCSO Act was enacted in 2012 and now there is a serious need to implement it properly. Sexual offences against children have serious consequences since they cause a lot of trauma to the child and to the family, the Chairperson added. Sexual abuse of boys is another area which needs special attention, Smt Stuti Kacker said.
Highlighting the importance of Information Technology, the Chairperson said that although internet itself can become a medium of crime, but on the other hand it can play an important role in monitoring, and initiatives can be developed for awareness generation through this medium. She requested the states to come out with such initiatives to help children. The Chairperson disclosed that she has written to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to have special wards in government hospitals for children subjected to sex crimes since maintaining confidentiality and observing sensitivity in these cases is of utmost importance. The Chairperson urged the participants to come together and work in collaboration with NCPCR to ensure safe childhood for children.
The Joint Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Smt Rashmi Saxena Sahni disclosed that a survey is being conducted jointly by NCPCR and Childline India Foundation to check for registered and unregistered homes. The survey will also verify the standards of thecare being maintained by these Homes, she added.
At the Conference, the State Governments shared the special initiatives being taken by them in the field of Protection of Children from sexual abuses. Presentations were also made on the special program ‘Nirbheek’ of Delhi Police and on ‘Protection of Children from Cyber Predation’ by the Special Commissioner of Delhi Police, Shri Muktesh Chandra. The participants also discussed legal challenges to the implementation of POCSO Act, 2012; Safety of Children in India with regard to Global Trends, provisions of the New Juvenile Justice Act and the role of various stakeholders to deal with the sensitive issue of sexual abuse of children in India.