Shortage of Child Rights Staff in Karnataka

Bangalore City Crime

Out of 12 vacancies only six child rights staffers have been recruited this year in Karnataka.

By Neetu Saini

With the increase in the number of child abuse cases, Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) is facing shortage of staff which is affecting the proceedings of the cases ultimately causing delay in solving the cases related to child abuse.

KSCPCR Chairperson, Antony Sebastian said, “There were 12 vacancies out of which only six have been filled by the government this year”. Letters have been sent to the government concerning the lack of child right staff. The commission has recruited temporary staff until the other sanctioned seats are filled.

Data released by the statistical Information Department of II Additional District Court shows that there are about 515 Protection of Children from Sexual Offences(POCSO) cases pending till date in Bangalore. Most of the cases are registered under Section 363, 354, 366, and 367 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) that deals with abduction, trafficking, rape and other child sexual abuses.

Around 94 per cent of the cases being heard at the District Additional Court this year, are still pending. Out of 515 cases, only 35 were disposed.

Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR) released Standard operating Procedures (SOPs) to improve the coordination and tackle issue such as training stakeholders—while advocating child friendly procedure.

In a meeting attended by the Union and state government, the need for proper staff training was discussed and plans to collaborate with Human Right and Women Right Organisations in the State were also put forward.

The Supreme Court in July ordered setting up of special fast-track courts in the districts that have more than 100 POCSO cases pending and will be solely funded by the centre to ensure justice.

Child Right Advocate,Ravi Kumar said“The problem is not with the judiciary system, but the lack of POCSO lawyer in the state. Whenever a child is involved in sexual offence case minute details and evidences have to be considered that’s why the proceedings take time”.,. “Apart from setting up SFTCs the government must look into the existing staff shortage in such crucial Child Right commissions,” he added.