Govt comes out with stiffer rules to check child abuse

Schools and other institutions need to be more stringent in dealing with cases of child abuse, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said on Friday while releasing and notifying guidelines on prevention of child abuse.

"A mere framing of rules to check incidents of child abuse is not enough. Efforts are needed to spread awareness and ensure proper implementation of the guidelines," she said. The Guidelines for Prevention of Child Abuse have been formulated by the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR).

"Children are the future and if we abuse and ill-treat them, what would our future society be like? It would be a traumatised one... It is a matter of satisfaction that Delhi has taken the lead in tackling this issue. These guidelines will serve as a model for other states to follow," she said.

So far, there are no comprehensive set of guidelines for the prevention of child abuse at the state or Central-level, despite India being a signatory to a host of international covenants focusing on child protection.

The guidelines released by the Delhi government have laid down broad principles of child protection safeguards, with an emphasis on the need for awareness and education regarding the issue not only in homes and schools, but also at the family and community level.

Since Rule-60 (1) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, lays down the need for every institution to have systems to prevent abuse, the guidelines have also incorporated a model child protection policy as an annexure.

The guidelines will be implemented by the Delhi government through the departments concerned and the DCPCR will be responsible for monitoring the implementation of its provisions.

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