Govt starts unique course to sensitise staff to child rights

Govt starts unique course to sensitise staff to child rights

Certificate programme will help depts work together on kids' issues

Govt starts unique course to sensitise staff to child rights

At a time when there have been calls for greater sensitivity in dealing with issues related to children, a step forward in this direction has been taken by various departments of the Karnataka government.

Starting Sunday, as many as 50 government employees from various departments formally enrolled for a one-week certificate course on ‘Rights Based Child Development Course’, which aims to create awareness and impart knowledge on child development besides enforcing children’s rights effectively. The course was formally inaugurated on Sunday.

The course has been designed by the Centre for Child and the Law (CCL), National Law School of India University (NLSIU), and is being implemented in collaboration with the Karnataka Integrated Child Protection Scheme under the Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD).

“This course is the first-of-its-kind. Fifty government employees from seven departments in Ramanagaram district will be in the first batch,” said V P Niranjan Aradhaya, fellow, CCL. The participants range from police personnel from the juvenile unit of the district to panchayat development officers, cluster resource persons from the Department of Public Instruction to anganwadi supervisors, hostel superintendents from pre-matric hostels run by the Social Welfare Department to health workers and labour inspectors.

The course will consist of 15 modules, covering aspects such as child rights, child development, issues of child abuse like child labour, child trafficking, child marriage, juvenile care and protection, child participation, planning for children, child budgeting, roles and responsibilities of stakeholders. It will be imparted in Kannada.

With several cases of child abuse, sexual assault and harassment coming to the fore in the past two years, experts have called for government departments to work together. The Integrated Child Protection Scheme speaks of this convergence on issues of child rights.

At a later stage, the course will be imparted to volunteers from child rights NGOs. “We want to take this course to the grassroots and the block level, hopefully by 2017. We will develop a more standardised course based on suggestions from the first two batches,” Aradhya said.
Uma Mahadevan, principal Secretary, DWCD, said she was excited that such a course had been started but added that a lot more needed to be done.

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