A chirpy, cheerful twelve-year-old dressed in a white salwar suit, sat cross legged on a chair...
First of its kind Marathi booklet on the POSCO Act
Today Forum Against Child Sexual Exploitation (FACSE) in collaboration with International Justice Mission (IJM) has published a booklet addressing frequently asked questions in relation to The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012. The Marathi publication will be available free of cost through FACSE and IJM Mumbai.
With the increased reporting of offences against children in the past three years, there has been an imminent need for clarity and expertise on the procedures set in place through the existing laws. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has reported that 38,172 cases, 58,224 cases and 89,423 cases were registered under crime against children during 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively. While the rise in numbers can be attributed to an increase due to mandatory reporting as per the POCSO Act, it in no way diminishes the horrific prevalence of crimes against children.
Mandatory reporting has directly impacted the daily processes of the police who receive these complaints, Child Welfare Committees who have to support victims and the courts where offenders are prosecuted. Yesudas Naidu, Associate Director of Training and Development, who worked on the concept and editing of the publication, said, “Ms. Vidya Apte of FACSE chose to collaborate with IJM and answer frequently asked questions on the POCSO Act, 2012.”
At the launch, Vidya Apte, from FACSE and author of the Booklet said, “the need for the book was realized in 2015 during training programs initiated by IJM. A number of procedural loopholes came to light through the training programmes and thus IJM collaborated with FACSE in compiling the book. The IJM team helped in writing the book.”
The Guidance Booklet is in an easy to read format that could be relied on for pertinent information related to procedure as per the POCSO Act. Michael Yangad, Director of Operations, IJM Mumbai, says, “It is the first of its kind reference in Marathi, for practitioners and citizens to understand the POCSO Act procedures and its applicability.”
The POCSO Guidance Booklet was launched at the Mumbai Press Club in the presence of Deputy Commissioner of Police, Enforcement, Pravin Patil, members of the Child Welfare Committees and Department of Women and Child Development and representatives of NGOs. The Chief Guest at the event was Marathi actor, Sonali Kulkarni, an ardent supporter of child rights. Ms. Kulkarni said, “Vidya is an angel, to have taken on the challenges of writing this book and breaking the stereotype.” She requested all present to, “Respect children, listen to them, don’t ask them to be quiet. Trust them.”
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