NHRC-TISS day-long Western Region Review Conference concludes in Mumbai: several important suggestions emerge relating to Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, Protection of Children from Sexual offences Act (POCSO) & Victim Compensation

New Delhi, 17th December,

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India organized a day- long Western Region Review Conference on Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection), 2015, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences, 2012, and Victim Compensation in collaboration with Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), at the YMCA International House, Mumbai, Maharashtra today on 17th December, 2019. Several suggestions came up during the day long deliberations among various stakeholders to remove difficulties in the way of implementation of these laws.

Earlier, addressing the gathering, NHRC Member, Mrs. Jyotika Kalra emphasised on the need to address early deviance and addictions among children to prevent crimes amongst them. She said that there is a need to strengthen the existing Child care Instituions (CCIs), while exploring alternative care options within the JJ Act like Restorative Justice. She drew attention to addressing the root of crimes amongst children through education, health, and allied services. Using the introductory film screened as a reference point, she underlined the need for social re-integration of the victims to preventing re-victimization.

NHRC Secretary General, Mr. Jaideep Govind emphasised the need for more public discourse on the situation of children and their vulnerabilities and the way forward. Mr. Govind also emphasised on the need to create increased awareness and improving access to the Victim Compensation Scheme. The need to strengthen, empower, motivate family, school and community as important stakeholders was also recognised by Mr. Govind, as these networks have the scope of providing an inclusive environment for preparing a road-map for the self-development of children. Highlighting the role of NHRC, he invited the participants for deliberating and sharing their suggestions that NHRC can take forward as policy and practice recommendations.

Prof. Shalini Bharat, Director, TISS shared the long association of TISS related to child protection through field action projects, teaching, research, and faculty being commissioned by the judiciary to intervene in the matters related to juvenile justice. This consultation, she said, was significant as it would show the ground realities and challenges from the consultations of the six states/UTs. She expressed the hope that this would enable all the stakeholders to strengthen the work of policymakers, practitioners, citizens, to ultimately benefit the children.

The participants of the consultation witnessed lively interface between government officials and NGOs regarding best practises as well as challenges faced on implementation of JJ Act, POCSO Act and Victim Compensation. They incluided officials from SHRCs and Departments of Women and Child Development, police, State Legal Services Authorities, State Commissions for Protection of Child Rights, JJB, CWC, NGOs, etc. of Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan andUTs: Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli. NHRC officers Sudesh Kumar, SRO, Dr. Seemi Azam, RO, Mr. Pallav Kumar and Ms. Ridima Puri, Research Associates were also part of the NHRC delegation at the conference.