July 5, 2014

Odisha Channel Bureau Bhubaneswar, July 5: Youth Council for Development Alternatives (YCDA) with support from Odisha Government’s Women and Child Development Department and UNICEF, Odisha launched a state level campaign named `Breaking the Silence…Combating Child Sexual Abuse’ in the State on Friday.The campaign to spread mass awareness on the issue and specific legal instruments like Protection of Children Offence Act 2012 was launched at a function held at the Regional Medical Research Centre Auditorium in Chandrasekharpur area of Bhubaneswar.Usha Padhee, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, School and Mass Education Department; S.Aswathy, Director, Women & Child Development Department; Kasturi Mohapatra, Commissioner, State Commission for Protection of Child Rights; Rajendra Meher, Member Odisha State Commission for Protection of Child Rights; Sashikant Mishra, State Legal Service Authority; Santosh Kumar Pattanaik; and others were present and discussed various issues related to child sexual abuse.Around 300 participants across different institutions and bodies like representative of childcare institutions, various civil society organisations, INGOs, District child protection officers, members from Special Juvenile Police Unit, representative of Ujjala home, chairpersons and members of District Child Welfare Committee were also present.A poster on combating child sexual abuse, FAQ on POCSO Act, 2012, an information booklet in Odia was unveiled in this launch campaign and a Way Forward plan was prepared at the end of the programme.A signature campaign was also conducted in this campaign, according to a press release issued on Saturday.In order to address various circumstances and degrees of sexual offences against children, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act 2012 has been enacted and rules under this Act has been framed.Government of Odisha has already taken various steps to address the issue.In Odisha under the POCSO Act, Children’s Courts have been declared along with appointment of Special Public Prosecutors.A guideline under this Act has been notified by WCD Department for the use of Government servants, NGOs, professionals, and experts in different fields to assist the child during the trial and pre trial stages.It is required to create more awareness building and capacity development of various stakeholders, to handle the issue in a more proactive and sensitive way in line with the Act, rules and guidelines.

July 5, 2014 0 Comment

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