TODAY -

Need to set up fast track courts To try child molestors mooted
Children issues highlighted to NCPCR

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 07, 2013: A number of NGOs and child right activists today highlighted the various problems and issues being faced by children in Manipur to National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Member Nina P Nayak during a consultative meet held at Hotel Nirmala here today.

The consultative meeting held at the initiative of Child Rights and You and the Manipur Alliance for Child Rights deliberated on JJ Act, ICPS, ICDS, Prevention of Child Sexual Offence Act, child trafficking and migration etc.

Speaking at the meeting Pradip of the Manipur Alliance for Child Rights said that children in Manipur are being denied their fundamental rights because of the protracted armed conflict situation.

Whereas many children have been victimised by the twin issue of HIV and drugs, the State Government is shying away from its responsibility, said the NGOs.

As women helpline is not opened in all districts of Manipur, girls often find themselves in the event of any harassment or sexual violence.

Pradip also highlighted the urgent requirement of setting up fast track courts for speedy trial of all accused involved in sexual violence.

There are around 12 children homes in the State which are being run with grants given by Government.

But the Government has not been releasing necessary fund/grants in time.

For this year too, no fund has been released so far.

The Manipur State Commission for Protection of Child Rights was set up just for name sake in the absence of even the most basic infrastructure.

Women Action for Development secretary Sobita Mangshatabam said that the level of human right violation in Manipur by armed state actors and non-state actors has been rising.

Given this highly insecure situation, children are not given their rights fully.

Number of child labourers, orphaned children, children who cannot afford formal schooling and malnourished children is growing day by day.

In addition, more and more children are being targeted for trafficking and sexual abuse.

During the current year till the month of May, 55 children have been made victims of violence and harassment in Manipur.

These included eight rape cases, two cases of rape plus murder, while 28 children were rescued after they were trafficked outside the State, Sobita said.

During the same period, two children committed suicide, five disappeared without any trace, one molested, four abandoned, two recruited as child soldiers and another physically assaulted.

Even though JJ Act is being enforced in Manipur, two children who were caught committing criminal activities are being lodged in jail instead of putting them in juvenile home.

Sobita also submitted a memorandum to the NCPCR Member and sought intervention of NCPCR for identifying the number of children affected by armed conflict, children living with HIV, child labourers, disabled children and children made victims of trafficking for the Government of India and the Government of Manipur to launch special welfare package for these hapless children.

Implementation of JJ Act in its true spirit and setting up of special juvenile police unit in each and every police station was another demand/point highlighted through the memorandum.

CWC Thoubal Chairperson Mala Lisham said that there is only one childline service in Manipur and it is based at Imphal.

She urged Nina P Nayak to recommend the State Government to launch childline service in very part of Manipur.

Annie Mangshatabam underscored the importance of holding sensitisation workshops for politicians and bureaucrats so that they can understand issues, problems and rights of children.

Many other child right activists coming from different parts of Manipur also spoke at the meeting.

Later NCPCR Member Nina P Nayak assured that the NCPCR would study the issues highlighted at the meeting today and make appropriate recommendations to relevant authorities.


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