Manipur Social Welfare minister raises concern on rising child sexual abuse

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Imphal: Manipur Social Welfare minister Heikham Dingo Singh expressed grave concern over the rise in the number of cases related to child sexual abuse in the state.

The minister was addressing the inaugural session of a one-day State Level Consultation on Effective Implementation of POCSO Act, 2012 at City Convention Centre, Imphal on Saturday.

The state registered a total of 161 cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act between April 2021 and October 2022. “It is a matter of grave concern,” the minister said.

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While observing higher number of POCSO cases in the valley districts then hill districts, the minister stressed the need for a survey to find out whether customary laws are preventing reporting the child sexual cases in hill districts. He then observed that lack of parental care in the society and drug abuse are the factors contributing to the rise in the POCSO cases.

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The minister said that due to lack of parental care, the relationship between children and parents is drifting apart and it has become one of the main reasons for losing morale among the children.

Drug abuse is also a factor contributing to the rise in the POCSO cases, he added.

Dingo said that time has come to take up measures and find ways to curb such cases.
The minister highlighted various preventive measures being taken up by the Social Welfare department.

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Speaking on the occasion, chief justice of High Court of Manipur, PV Sanjay Kumar cited that the objective of POCSO Act, 2012 is to stop sexual assaults and sexual harassments to minors.
The POCSO Act gives protection to minors then the IPC and awards stringent punishment to the accused, he also said.

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