Sports protection policy for kids suggested

“The Commission is concerned about complaints regarding neglect and violation of child rights in the sports arena particularly since we are all aware that many an act of child abuse goes unreported because of social pressures and taboos. Children may not be in a position to share their experiences of abuse due to fear of victimisation by the authorities or their parents, guardians and removal from the sport they love,” Nina Nayak, chairperson of the commission, said here on Wednesday.

Common violations include inflicting physical injury upon a child, inappropriate sexual behaviour with a child, verbal abuse, mental abuse, psychological maltreatment and failure to provide for child’s basic needs. In addition, the Commission will also consider financial abuse where coaches are sometimes known to demand special favours from parents for promoting their wards.

“One of the things we needed to do is inform the stakeholders about the issues involved before starting anything major. That is why these orientation programmes will be important,” Nayak said.

Following a meeting with several sports organisations, most have agreed to set up Child Protection Units to report any violation.

The policy will focus on code of conduct for employees, background checks during recruitment, safe access to facilities, clear guidelines on supervision, child protection training plan for staff and volunteers, etc.

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