Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: Great concern was expressed over the issue of child abuse at a workshop organised by the Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) South Zone on Friday.

The workshop, ‘Child Rights and Protection: Recognition and Response of Paediatricians to Child Abuse,’ was to discuss the National Study of Child Abuse 2007 by Prayas Juvenile Aid Centre in collaboration with the Ministry of Woman and Child Development, which revealed startling statistics of the extent to which children are abused.

Paediatricians felt the need to respond to this burning issue and create a protocol and proper management of child abuse cases. The panellists comprised psychologists, psychiatrists, lawyers and forensic experts, including Meera Naik, president of Karnataka Child Council Welfare, and Sheela Devraj, Director of the NGO Association for Promotion of Social Action (APSA).

All dwelt upon the great emotional stress a child victim of abuse is subjected to while recounting his or her trauma to various people starting from the NGOs to the police and then decided to form a single nodal agency that the child can approach to receive justice.

Chairperson Neela Shabde, who is Project Director, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (UK), Child Protection Training Systems, shared training materials with the participants.

The workshop, the first for paediatricians to work on child abuse, was supported by UNICEF India.