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Judicial meet on child rights begins today

Guwahati, March 21: Judges of Delhi, Calcutta and Gauhati High Courts will train district judges, public prosecutors, child protection officers and police officers in Assam for better implementation of the laws meant for child rights, including the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

The National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam, and Unicef are organising a two-day consultation here tomorrow and Sunday, which will dwell on the guidelines prepared for the special courts meant for trial of the cases related to child rights and crime against children.

“To train the participants we have invited Justice Gita Mittal, a judge of Delhi High Court, who is actively involved in setting up special children’s courts and organising training of judges in New Delhi. Judges from Calcutta and Gauhati High Courts will attend as resource persons to talk about the guidelines and the issues in the trials of cases related to children. Around 100 participants, including representatives from NGOs working on child rights, will also attend,” associate professor of law of the university, Benarji Chakka, told The Telegraph.

Chakka said the purpose of the consultation was to develop capacity of key stakeholders of the Children’s Court and Special Court and formulate guidelines under Section 39 of The Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

Assam became the second state after Goa to set up children’s courts, especially for cases related to child rights violations and crimes against children.

The state government last year had issued a notification designating the court of district and sessions judge in each judicial district, as special courts to try offences under the act.

Special public prosecutors were also appointed for the purpose.

Judge of Gauhati High Court, Justice B.P. Katakey, will deliver his keynote address on the inaugural session tomorrow while Justice Gita Mittal will talk on The Vulnerable Witnesses in the Courtroom — the Delhi High Court Initiative, on Sunday.

Justice Joymalya Bagchi of Calcutta High Court will dwell on the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013, with a focus on addressing sexual offences against children.

Apart from the district judges and public prosecutors, representatives of the State Child Protection Society, District Child Protection Units under the social welfare department, chairperson and members of the Child Welfare Committees, superintendents of child care institutions, representatives from department of health and family welfare, education, mental health organisations, Bar Association of Gauahti High Court, CID, Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Unicef, among others, will attend the consultation.