National Commission of Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) member Rosy Taba on Friday expressed grave concern over the low number of prosecutions and convictions for offenses committed against children in Arunachal Pradesh.
“The number of prosecutions and convictions for offenses committed against children is relatively low in Arunachal Pradesh and there is a serious need to spread more awareness on the same,” Taba said.
The NCPCR member was addressing a district-level review meeting on ‘Child Rights’ at Pasighat, the headquarters of East Siang district in Arunachal Pradesh.
The meet was organized by the divisional level ICDS Cell of the Women and Child Development department.
Reviewing the child protection scenario of the district, Taba said, “The children must be safe, well cared and loved; however, some are unfortunately abused and exploited by the adults.”
A child may be ill-treated and oppressed in their schools, on the streets, or even in their homes but only a small percentage of such cases are referred to the police or child protection agencies and this trend has to change, she said.
Taba said the police are duty-bound to register all such complaints and take appropriate action in the course of their work.
“They (police) have a considerable amount of power to arrest and detain suspects and investigate crimes. These powers must be used for safeguarding all those who need their help,” she said.
Taba further called upon the local administration, police, social welfare organizations and the society as a whole to making caring for children and keeping them safe a shared responsibility.
“More awareness campaigns on child rights should be conducted in schools, panchayats and especially in the rural and far-flung areas of the district involving the police, legal service providers, etc,” she said.
The National Commission of Protection of Child Rights member asked the district medical officer to provide medical services to the juvenile observation-cum-special home in Pasighat, the oldest town of Arunachal Pradesh.
She also asked the district’s deputy director of school education to stick all important telephone/mobile numbers of child safety in the classrooms of all the schools.
“Together we can protect our future generation by teaching them to be smart, strong and safe,” she said while urging the deputy commissioner to conduct periodical coordination and consultative meetings with all stakeholders so that the state and the nation’s most precious resources (children) are protected.
East Siang deputy commissioner Dr Kinny Singh briefed the house on the status of child safety measures being taken up by the administration.
She called for maintaining close coordination among the different departments, agencies and NGOs to safeguard the rights of children, besides providing care and protection to those who are in distress.
Superintendent of police, PK Mishra, presented the working profile of the district’s police force and assured to extend all support and cooperation.