Standing up for the rights and safety of street children, a federation of street and working children — Badthe Kadam — on Thursday wrote to the newly-appointed Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi asking him to ensure child-friendly faces among police ranks and adequate sensitisation of the force on child rights issues.

“In the past few days, several cases of police atrocities on street children have surfaced in Delhi. The case of a street child beaten by a Railways Protection Force officer on July 16 and two children beaten at Sarojini Nagar on July 9 are few examples of how police in the Capital are treating the already victimised children,” said Sanjay Gupta of CHETNA, a non-government organisation working with street children. Following these incidents, an emergency meeting was organised on the issue and the members of the federation agreed that there was a need to write to the Delhi Police Commissioner and take up the matter, noted Mr. Gupta.

The letter to the Commissioner urged him to “take note of police atrocities on street children” and the NGO hoped that he would “take strict action against the officers in question”.

Badthe Kadam national secretary Vijay Kumar said there should be adequate training for police officials on how to be child-friendly.

“We are also disappointed to see the recent derogatory advertisement by the police, where they seem to be promoting child labour or posing them as future head choppers. Thankfully, that advertisement has been withdrawn now,” he said.

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