//Focus on rights of children

Focus on rights of children

KOCHI: A two-day training programme on Child Rights Convention and Probation Services which concluded here on Thursday drew society’s attention to the issues of protection of the rights of children and providing them the best opportunities to realise their potential.

The workshop brought to the fore glaring deficiencies in the institutional set-up to protect the rights of children. The State is yet to fully imbibe the spirit of the Juvenile Justice Act. The Juvenile Justice Board has not been established in all districts and no Child Welfare Committee has come into existence so far. Inaugurating the programme, R. Basanth, judge of the Kerala High Court, said society should be prepared to give due recognition to the rights of children. He called for vigilance against an increasing tendency to induce teenagers to crimes.

James Murickan, Principal District and Sessions Judge, delivered the keynote address.

An official of the Social Welfare Department says there is lot of confusion regarding the rights of children among the public. He points to a recent case in which a baby was abandoned on the premises of a newspaper office in the city. In incidents like this, the police should be informed and the baby taken to hospital before it is sent to an adoption home. During the last 10 years, a total of 3,200 babies have been legally adopted in the State.

There was a session on Glimpses of Probations Services led by K. Ramachandran, former District Judge, and a session to review probationary activities led by C. Pradeepkumar, Additional Director of Social Welfare and Chief Probation Superintendent. Sessions on skills in counselling and interviews, adoption-related legislation, bringing about community participation and networking were also part of the programme.