Kohima, Oct. 29: Nagaland minister for social welfare Kiyanilie Peseyie formally inaugurated an observation home for children in Mon district today.
In his inaugural speech, the minister urged the people of Mon district to co-operate with the government to achieve the aims of the observation home and Integrated Child Protection Scheme in the state.
The government has established the observation home in the district in the first phase, as Mon is the biggest district in the state and has a large population.
“The observation home is only for a short stay and for the children who require longer attention shall be referred by the juvenile justice board and be sent to Pherima Special Home for proper counselling,” he added.
He said the state has seven observation homes at present, of which five are run by the government and two by an NGO. The objective of the scheme is to safeguard the rights of the children. “These vulnerable children fall under two categories — children in need of proper care and protection, and children in conflict with the law,” the minister said.
Most of the children in conflict with the law are those who commit petty crimes, or those who have committed more serious offences like murder and rape, but cannot be tried and punished as adults, the minister said.
He said some are even forced into crime by adults who use them, as they know that children cannot be tried as adults. Most of the children who commit crimes have been found to have little or no education. He added that a major area of concern is the rise of juvenile crimes all over Nagaland. More observation homes will be set up in all districts.
Mon deputy commissioner Angau I. Thou spoke of the observation home and acts that protect the rights of children below 18 years.
She called upon the people to help run the home smoothly and also appealed to the staff to cater to the needs of the juveniles with love and care, and bring them up to become decent and responsible citizens of the state.
The president of the Konyak Women’s Organisation, Lomei Konyak, thanked the government for the home and suggested measures to run the home smoothly.