Children Consultation on Combating Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Organised

Bhubaneswar: A State Level Consultation on Combating Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation was organised at Panthanivas, Bhubaneswar on 16th July 2022 by People’s Cultural Centre (PECUC) in collaboration with National Action Coordination Group for Ending Violence against Children, NACG EVAC India with support of WVI and BMZ and in association with ADARSA, EKTA,HELP, MIHY, OLS, RARE, SAHARA, SHELTER and VHAI organization. More than 60 Children from the state of Odisha Participated in the consultation. Ms. Sandhyabati Pradhan, Chairperson OSCPCR, inaugurated the consultation and said that, participation of children is essential to create a child friendly environment. The suggestion and recommendation of children is essential to implement effective protection mechanism to them. Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohanty, Chairperson NACG EVAC, India and Secretary PECUC welcomed the guests and shared the purpose of this consultation and said that children should speak up if they are facing any ill treatment or bad behaviour so that immediate action could be taken. Ms. Anuradha Mohanty, Executive Director of PECUC discussed about good touch and bad touch and also advised the children to share the issues with the person they trust the most. Mr. Harihar Naik, Former member of OSCPCR discussed about POCSO Act and child protection reporting mechanism with children and also said that this act is a land mark act and it is very comprehensive and deals with the issue with a child friendly manner and by taking into account best interest of the child. The children also prepared a charter of recommendation and presented it to the stakeholders. The recommendations include, textbook inclusion of POCSO Act, teachers training on POCSO, self-defense training to students, fully functional child protection committee in villages, child friendly police stations etc. Panelist Mr. Saumendra Kumar Priyadarshi, IPS, Commissioner of Police, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, lauded the effort of children in preparing the recommendations and said that the law is comprehensive and the police is there to safeguard the best interest of the child, therefore approach the system without fear is of utmost importance. Other dignitaries Dr. Rasmi Ranjan Sathpathy, Additional Director, Child Health, Directorate of Health Services, Ms. Rajashree Pattanayak, Joint Director, Girls Education, Odisha School Education Programme Authority, Ms. Lahri Mohanty, State Gender Coordinator, OSEPA and Mr. Ranjan Kumar Mohanty, NACG EVAC, India were present during the discussion. Mr. Chandan Kumar Nayak of PECUC thanked everyone.
The consultation was followed by an exposure visit to the Capital police station, where children interacted with senior police officials and got to know about the function of police and how an ideal police station functions.

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