GUWAHATI: Despite all law and policies of the government there has been a steady rise in crime against children in Assam since the past few years, Assam minister for finance and social welfare said here on Friday.

The ASCPCR registered 95 cases for protection of child rights in 2016, 101 cases in 2017, 157 cases in 2018, 149 cases in 2019, 116 cases in 2020 and 54 such cases in this year till July 15.

“We all know that today’s children will be the citizens of tomorrow. And we as citizens have a moral responsibility to protect our child from all forms of violence,” Neog said addressing National Level Consultation on Child Rights with a special focus on Substance Abuse and Child Trafficking. Organized by Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR) at Assam Administrative Staff College here.

“The children have the right to survival, right to protection,  right to development and right to participate. Despite having all the laws and policies to ensure the protection of right of children a lot remains to be done to ensure that services are effective,” Neog said.

“We have witnessed in the recent pass especially the pandemic situation and despite the situation of lockdown, the crimes against children continued to go rise. The emerging times of cybercrime indicate the importance of increasing awareness about the protective right of children not just in the real world but also in the virtual world,” the minister said.

“Human trafficking is despicable violence of human rights. The issue of trafficking is to be addressed to a comprehensive strategy so that the victims and survivors get justice and rehabilitated,” the minister also said.

Quoting official records of the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), the minister said Assam has registered the highest cases of child trafficking cases in the country.

“During the pandemic situation as well as the existing situation of vulnerability, technology is used by the traffickers in every step of crime from identifying victims and recruiting them to launder the process of exploitation,” she said.

“Today traffickers may deploy victims in different countries simultaneously which was just unthinkable just a few years ago, when the related technology did not exist. Further for perpetrators take advantage from multiple forms of communication technology making it potentially low risk of immediate detection by law enforcing authority,” she said.

“For those various reasons among others new technologies are increasingly is used by the traffickers to recruit victims. The incidents of drug abuse among children and adolescences are also higher than the general population,” she also said.

“Many street children use cheap drugs to cope up with their daily cycles of sexual, physical and mental abuse. Children affected by substance abuse are needed care and protection under Juvenile Justice Act 2015,” the minister said.

The increasing rate of substance abuse in adolescences in India is direct changing cultural values fierce competition in the fields of education and employment going increasing the economic burden on families declining supportive bonds. I believe we all should work together to provide benefits from available schemes and services to children to minimize the damage that has been going on against children by exposure to subscribe abuses,” she further said.

“I sincerely hope that this consultation will build stronger connection in the northeastern states and destination states to check the menace of human trafficking,” she added.

Echoing a similar view, AS CPCR chairperson Dr Sunita Changkakaty said there are two major challenges in the state one is from child trafficking and the other is substance abuse.

“Due to poverty, remoteness and large rate of school dropout many children have been trafficked from Assam to other states of the country despite the strict vigil by the government agencies,” she said.

But there is no data on the real number of child trafficking because most of the cases are not registered by the local police stations by parents or community members because of ignorance and knowledge. Many parents realized only after a long time hen their children stop communication because they keep hoping that children will come back after some time,” she added. 

Alcohol in Assam is now dearer by 15 pc. Details here

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