New Delhi: A training module will be developed and distributed in districts across the country to raise awareness about the recently amended POCSO Act to have the necessary understanding on prevention of and response to child sexual abuse, Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Smriti Irani said.
The WCD ministry will get assistance from the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), neuroscience institute NIMHANS and UNICEF who will all work together to ensure district-wise outreach regarding the recently notified rules of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, she said.
The key stakeholders to be involved in this outreach programme include police and law enforcement agencies, district child protection units, state and district legal services authorities, child welfare committees, providers of health, education and mental health services among others.
“From free legal aid to counselling through agencies like BPR&D, we also hope to engage with police agencies district-wise to enhance our capacities to address crimes against children,” she told PTI.
The module will include formats for training need assessment and post-training feedback format, along with check lists for all “duty bearers” and “rights holders”, she said.
The training module will include video lectures by subject experts on the roles of various stakeholders. It will help homogenisation of the contents and also be useful for conducting training in remote places where appropriate subject experts may not be available to impart training, she said.
These modules will be shared with all state governments and will be placed on the ministry’s website, Irani said, noting that protection of children and their well being is central to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s endeavours of building a new India.
She said there is an urgent need to provide orientation and raise awareness programmes for all stakeholders and communities at large on how the law can support children who are victims of sexual abuse with emphasis on prevention and roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders.
The training module aims to raise awareness among the key stakeholders of their role in POCSO implementation and to have the necessary understanding on how to prevent and respond to sexual abuse.