Staff Reporter

System to prevent child trafficking

Anganwadi centres to keep a record of all expectant mothers

Bangalore: To prevent child trafficking and track the overall development of girl child, the Department of Women and Child Welfare is developing a child tracking system, under which the local child development project officials will keep track of a child’s growth from birth till 18 years, Women and Child Welfare Secretary Shalini Rajneesh has said.

Speaking after inaugurating the “Karnataka Observatory on Children’s Rights Status and Progress” here on Monday, Ms. Rajneesh said strict action would be taken against anyone involved in child trafficking.

“We will take up suo motu cases against those involved in such crimes,” she said.

The official pointed out that the tracking system would help the department in combating child trafficking including prevention, education, rescue, rehabilitation, repatriation and conviction of the perpetrators of the crime. Elaborating on the system, Ms. Rajneesh said the local anganwadi centres would keep a record of all expectant mothers and follow up their cases till childbirth.

Check

“After nine months, we will check with all hospitals in the area and if a particular woman has not delivered in any of the hospitals, we will investigate whether it is female foeticide and take up suo motu cases against them,” she said.

She congratulated Child Rights Trust (CRT) and UNICEF for coming together to set up the Karnataka Observatory on Children’s Rights Status and Progress.

Executive Director of CRT Vasudeva Sharma said the observatory would be an omnibus with a number of sub-projects that together converge to provide the data, analysis, publicity and pressure for both Government and civil society to act in the best interests of the child.

“The observatory, which will be run by CRT and a consortium of voluntary organisations and academics, will follow and document the progress of child rights realisation in the State. The collaborating organisations can use the findings and material to strengthen their advocacy and actions,” Mr. Sharma said.

UNICEF representative Sudha Murali said that the organisation would support the efforts of CRT in maintaining the observatory.

“If we have to advocate for the rights of children, we need adequate data. UNICEF will lend all its support in establishing the required data in the observatory,” she added.

CRT Trustee Padmini spoke on the situation of children in Karnataka. Suchitra Rao and Vikas Varma from UNICEF spoke.

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