Dimapur, Sep. 13 (EMN): District Child Protection Unit, Longleng under the department of Social Welfare organised a sensitisation programme on “Child Rights and Child Sexual Abuses” in the Council Hall of Yongphang village under Sakshi block, Longleng on September 10.
Resource person Yangthriba Sangtam, district child protection officer, spoke on “Child Rights, Child Protection Mechanisms and POCSO Act” at the event, informed an update issued by Maya Gurung on Thursday. He told the gathering that human rights are for all people, so children have rights like adults.
“Emphasising on the rights of the Children, Sangtam said children have the rights to live in a safe and secure environment, healthcare and nutrition, right to have safe drinking water, right to acquire quality education, right to be heard and participate in decisions that affects them, right to relax and play, right to spiritual development, right to be prepared for active and responsible citizenship, right to be protected from abuses and neglect, treat with dignity, protected from any form of exploitation, right to be protected from substances abuses,” read the press release.
“Children are the assets of the society and leaders of tomorrow. It is the duty and responsibility of the family and every adult citizen to provide proper guidance and protection to the children,” he said.
Stating that not every child is living in a safety environment, Sangtam encouraged the participants to have a sense of responsibility and courage to fight against violation of children’s rights and provide care and protection to them. He also spoke on some existing child protection mechanisms like the cChild rights enshrined in the Indian constitution and some important specific laws to ensure proper care and protection to the children.
Giving detailed information of the Juvenile Justice Act 2000 and its amendments, Sangtam said “this Act is meant for both child in need of care and protection and child in conflict with law by providing proper care, treatment, protection, development and rehabilitation.” He also stressed on child sexual abuses prevalent in the society.
He told the gathering that there are two types of sexual abuses — contact and non contact abuses. He also spoke on sexual harassment, sexual assault and penetrative sexual assault which are punishable offences under different sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012.
“No one has the legal right to sexually abuse a child against the will of the child and no amount of excuses can justify the wrong deeds against the minor child,” he said, and urged the participants to report to the competent authority like SJPU, CWC, DCPU or dial toll free CHILDLINE No.1098 whenever abuse is reported or happens in their locality.
Saying child abuse is a preventable, Sangtam encouraged all responsible leaders to stay vigilant in their respective places to ensure that children are well protected and have stable, loving and nurturing security environment.
Speaking on “Importance of Observation Home,” Kezevinuo Thepa, superintendent, Observation Home Longleng, stressed that ‘home is meant for child alleged to be in conflict with law and temporary reception, care, and rehabilitation for juvenile during the pendency of inquiry under the Juvenile Justice Act.’ She also encouraged the participants to be aware of such “existing infrastructure” by reporting cases to the competent authority and “make the best use of the facilities available in the district when it comes to juvenile in conflict with the law.”
Chingsha Phom, chairman, child welfare committee, spoke about the “roles and functions” of village-level child protection committee (VLCPC). He said the committee has a ‘vital role to play in shaping and protecting children from family at risk in their respective village.’
Phom also encouraged the participants to “stay active and alert and report all matters pertaining to child in need of care and protection and child in conflict with law to the appropriate authorities namely CWC, JJB, SJPU and DCPU to settle cases.”
The VLCPC members, student leaders, church leaders, school teachers, anganwadi workers and GBS attended the programme.