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There are growing cases of unnatural and prohibited sex (both forced and consensual) like incest (father-daughter, cousin brother-cousin sister, uncle-niece) and limited awareness in POSCO Act in West Bengal have resulted the state government and UNICEF launch state level consultation.
There is a need to train police officers especially juvenile officers in every police station about the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act, 2012, about preservation of evidence such as swab, smear, said Mr. Debashish Boral, IAS today at a state level consultation hosted by UNICEF and Women and Child development department.
To create awareness about amongst police, children and other stakeholders about POSCO Act which has been enacted to curtail growing incidents of sexual violence against children, the state government is making an all-out effort to reach out and educate people about it.
Dr Sashi Panja, Minister of State, Child Development & Women Development, said that aggressive measures such as posters would be put up at health centers, railway stations, Anganwadi workers would get training about this child friendly, rights-based law and later on, this might be integrated into school’s sex education. At Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) centers both children and parents will be made aware of this law.
She, further, said that special courts would be set up under this law to deliver justice to the victims within a specified time frame. Unlike Indian Penal Court (IPC), under this law it the accused who needs to prove his or her innocence.
“Police is still not using POSCO Act and to some extent, there is a lack of co-operation from Courts. Many of the POSCO cases are not even being reported to The Child Welfare Committee (CWC)” lamented Ms Roshni Sen, Secretary, Department of Social Welfare, Woman and Child Development at Government of West Bengal.
There are requirements of special public prosecutors, special courts, more female police officers and special training for the police officers, highlighted Ms Sen.
There has been a rise in cases of incestuous sexual assault wherein the victimized child is constantly under pressure to not to speak out, points out Ms Bharti Ali, child rights activist and founder and Co-Director of HAQ: Centre for Child Rights.
Here’s a guide to the ACT – http://wcd.nic.in/childact/childprotection31072012.pdfhttp://wcd.nic.in/childact/childprotection31072012.pdf