Sharp rise in crime against children in Meghalaya; 1349 cases reported in four years


By Our Reporter, TNT News | Shillong, May 02, 2018:

The crime against children in the State is alarming with a total number of 1349 cases being reported in the past four years.

This was revealed by the SP of the State Crime Records Bureau (SCRB), DN Jyrwa here today.

"From 2014 up to January 2018, a total number of 1329 cases of crime against children were reported throughout the State," Jyrwa said while speaking during the inauguration of the 'Personal Safety Education Program' (PSEP) organized by the Faith Foundation in collaboration with the Directorate of School Education & Literacy.

Stating the highest number of cases was recorded in East Khasi Hills, he said that the lowest is in East Garo Hills.

As per official figures, a total number 445 cases were recorded in East Khasi Hills while on the other hand, a total number of 19 cases were recorded in East Garo Hills.

Jyrwa further informed that crime against children till March 2018 is 66 with zero number of convictions.

Earlier, while formally inaugurating the programme, chairperson of the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Meena Kharkongor said that the programme is an innovative measure to help protect children from various forms of abuse and exploitations.

"I am of a strong view that this kind of programme is the need of the hour. I feel that we should be encouraged to implement this programme," Kharkongor said.

It may be mentioned that The PSEP, (a child sexual abuse prevention program) is a school-based curriculum that empowers children to participate in their own protection.

 The Chairperson also urged the foundation to work hand-in-hand with the commission so as to create a better safety net for children.

On the rise of sexually assaults against children, Kharkongor asserted that in most of the cases, perpetrators are people who are actually close to the children.

"Despite laws like the Juvenile Justice Act 2015 and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO), such things are still happening," she lamented.

The Chairperson called upon the society to unite together and find solutions in creating a 'safety net' for children.

Earlier, Faith Foundation Director, Shannon D. Massar gave a brief summary of the foundation which was started by her along with three others in the year 2013.

" Our mission is to work with children, young women and communities in Meghalaya to create a safe and enabling environment," said the Director.

She mentioned that in the past five years, the foundation has been able to reach out to more than 5700 children and more than 1200 stakeholders comprising of community members, teachers, and parents.

The foundation is also piloting the PSEP in ten government schools in Shillong in collaboration with the Department of Education and Literacy SSA/RMSA for the year 2018-19.