TODAY -

Children's rights and protection stressed
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 10 2017: Chief Secretary Rajani Ranjan Rashmi has today claimed that the Manipur Government has been working for protection of children since 2009 after signing an agreement with the Central Government for implementation of schemes designed for the protection of children in the State.

RR Rashmi was addressing as a presidium member in the inaugural function of a two-day North-Eastern Regional Conference on Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and POCSO Act, 2012, which is jointly organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Department of Social Welfare, Government of Manipur at the Sangai Hall, Imphal Hotel at North AOC, Imphal.

The chief secretary informed that the Government has been taking measures under this scheme and has 35 children homes in the State which are funded and assisted by the State Government besides having nearly 50 registered homes with active support from the Government although it does not give direct assistance to them Asserting that the Government is providing the necessities for the implementation of JJ Act, 2015 and POCSO Act 2012, RR Rashmi said that the committees at the State- and district-levels, set up by the Government, have started functioning in the State.

Reminding that the proper implementation of legal provisions involves CSOs, Rashmi expressed his pleasure that the awareness on women's and children's rights in the State, as in the North East region, is comparatively higher than other parts of India.

However, he cautioned that the instances of child abuses and violence committed by juveniles are on the rise in the region according to available data.

Noting that the development of technologies and the way a society progresses are also a factor for the increasing number of violence committed against women and children, RR Rashmi said that the Government and society need to be more considerate, work more actively and put in more efforts.

This will ultimately bring sensitivity to the children and help them grow to become responsible citizens, he maintained The chief secretary also pointed out the need for introspection on the education system and legal provisions, while emphasising on the significance of gender balance in the society.

He opined that the role of parents is crucial in bringing up children and added that parents should inculcate the idea of gender equality in the minds of their children.

The concept of the care for children is a new innovation although the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989 recognised the rights of children, Rashmi reminded, but lamented that Governments throughout the world, including the Manipur Government, are reacting slowly while making the necessary arrangements for establishing mechanisms that are required in implementing the programmes.

Stating that people look at the issues of child rights mainly from economic perspectives and the provisions of preventing child labour, he noted that the legal provisions could not be ensured to the fullest extent when considering the way the prevailing society gives weight to the issues as well as the current level of the development of the society and the ways different economic groups are functioning in our society.

Expressing happiness that the chief minister ofManipur is aware of the issues of protecting children and women,Rashmi lauded that the chief minister has recently announced the launching of schemes for disabled persons and women.

Darmar Murugesan, an NHRC member, while speaking at the function said that doubts are rising in India on the imple mentation of the JJ Act, 2015 and POCSO Act, 2012, although the two acts have been made as special enactment for the protection of children in the country. Noting that giving care and protection to victims after identifying and rescuing them are important tasks under the JJ and POCSO Acts, he stressed on the rehabilitation and reintegration of victims into mainstream society while remarking the two tasks are often neglected despite their importance in the effective implementation of the two Acts.

While observing that illiteracy and poverty in the country cannot be the justification for Governments on their failure to stop human rights violations, he said that the ultimate responsibility to educate children goes to the Government.

Pramod Asthana, Additional Director General of Police, Government of Manipur, Jyotika Kalra, member, NHRM, Dr Ranjit Singh, Joint Secretary (P&A), NHRC and H Deleep, Commissioner (Social Welfare), Government of Manipur also shared the dais at the function. The afternoon and evening sessions were conducted with representatives from various North East States making their presentation with reference to the JJ Act, 2015 and POCSO Act, 2012.The two-day conference concludes tomorrow.


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