Bhubaneswar: World Vision India (WVI), a humanitarian organization working for child protection launched its national campaign that aim to end sexual abuse and exploitation of children in India by 2021, in Bhubaneswar today. The campaign titled “It takes Every Indian to End Child Sexual Abuse” was launched by Shri. Prafulla Samal, Honourable Cabinet Minister of Women & Child Development and Mission Shakti, Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disability, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises, Govt. of Odisha. The event provided an opportunity for children to share their perspective on child abuse, followed by a panel discussion on ‘Protection Mechanism and Committing to end all forms of violence against children’.
Shri. Prafulla Samal said, “We should join hands to end child sexual abuse and exploitation for the wellbeing of children. It is our moral responsibility to educate our children on good and bad touch. There is a need to spread awareness on POCSO so that we strengthen child sexual abuse case reporting mechanisms. “.
The magnitude of sexual violence against children is unknown. To address the issue and to break the silence around child abuse and exploitation World Vision India has created a holistic campaign that is expected to impact 10 million children (0 – 18 years). Mr. Mikhael Pradhan, Head-Advocacy, World Vision India said, “Violence against children is a serious violation of their rights. World Vision India’s campaign aims to make a significant contribution towards ending this abominable practice affecting our children today. We aim to create a safer and more caring environment for India’s children. We believe that a world without violence against children is possible”.
The campaign will encourage the public to address values and attitudes, which condone sexual abuse and exploitation of children. World Vision India will also train parents on child protection, parenting and care at household level and within the community, facilitate school safety program, conduct comprehensive school safety measures for children, establish child protection policies and improve complaint mechanisms in schools. Sexual harassment awareness sessions will also be conducted at the anganwadi centres for adolescent girls.
The campaign will also focus on strengthening existing child protection programs through multi-stakeholder engagement efforts that will include working with the Integrated Child Protection Scheme and child protection units to strengthen the reporting, referral mechanisms and support programs for child protection incidents, organizing inter-agency child protection review to ensure co-operation and accountability, sensitize and train police, teachers, doctors, Auxiliary nurse midwife, lawyers, etc. to be sensitive with children and their families when faced with a case. Additionally, it will work to strengthen coalitions of community, faith-based and civil society organizations to advocate for the protection of children and improve referral systems.
Other eminent guests at the event included Smt. Kasturi Mohapatra – Chairperson – Odisha State Commission for Protection of Child Rights – OSCPCR; Shri Anant Narayana Jena, Mayor- Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation and Dr. Rajendra Prasad Sharma, IPS, D.G & I.G of Police, Govt. of Odisha