Increasing crime cases against children alarming: KSLSA member secretary

Increasing crime cases against children alarming: KSLSA member secretary

The stakeholders, most importantly the law enforcement agencies in the society, have a major responsibility of safeguarding the child rights, said Uma M G, member secretary, Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA), Bengaluru.

Delivering a talk on the role of police and public under NALSA (Child Friendly Legal Services to Children and their Protection) Scheme 2015, she said the increasing crime cases registered against children are alarming. Everyone has a role to play in protecting the child rights and to create children-friendly environment. Children as victims and children with conflict with law are affected massively and they grow without goals and commitments in life, she opined.

She said the law enforcement agencies like police has immense responsibility. They play a major role in protecting the unfortunate children who fall prey for the crimes. Children can be moulded into good and bad. The Juvenile Justice Act has also incorporated changes to ensure children-friendly environment. The report by National Crime data shows the crime against children and their involvement in crime is rampant. Article 39 (A) has ensured access to justice. Nearly 40% of the total population are children below 18 years. The crimes like sexual assault, child labour, child trafficking and run away children are rampant, she said.

Stressing over the need for the people-friendly policing, Uma said there is a requirement for proper coordination of police investigation, prosecution and judiciary. The conviction rate is very low when compared to the crime rate, she said.

District and Sessions Court judge Venkatesh Naik said more than 90,000 cases were reported in the country in 2014-15. Sensitive and responsible judiciary and policing is most important. He stressed on the need for child-friendly courts to hear the problem pertaining to the children.

DC Priyanka Mary Francis said that task force to protect the child rights will be set up in association with the CWC at all gram panchayats. Measures ensuring the safety of children and their rights will be deliberated at grassroots level.

There is a need for psychological and attitudinal training for the agencies that are involved in implementation and introduction of child-friendly measures. The basic training to deal with children and their problem is the need of the hour, she felt.

State Child Rights Protection Commission member Vanitha Thorvi said that on an average, five children become offenders or victims every day in one or the other form. She said that children should be empowered with education and rights.

SP K T Balakrishna said the children who are rescued after the crimes should be looked after and rehabilitated properly as the children after disaster left unheard pose a bigger threat. The children-friendly policing is in place and an ASI-level officer will be the nodal officer and PSI-grade officer would be in-charge of the district, he added