Probation officers posts lying vacant in Child Welfare Committees and the consequent lack of structured functioning of the committees were among the issues discussed here at the half-yearly ChildLine Advisory Board meeting held at the Collectorate.

Calling for an interdepartmental coordination in dealing with exploitation and abuse of children, ChildLine sought the support of police while rescuing children from forced beggary. Demand for presence of women police personnel during conduct of raids was placed before the committee. Further, training for police on the POCSO Act (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act) under the aegis of ChildLine has also been proposed.

Speaking to The Hindu , Arivozhi, centre coordinator, ChildLine, Karaikal, said that ChildLine received 10 calls last year on impending child marriages in the district. Of these, five marriages were stopped at the eleventh hour and five other marriages were halted through counselling of the families concerned. The ChildLine staff was engaged in constant supervision and surveillance of the families. Further, the Chief Education Officer has already issued a circular on ChildLine helpline 1098 in all schools. Taking the awareness campaign further down the line, wall paintings on the helpline, and awareness programmes on Child Marriage Prohibition Act and child sexual abuse is being conceived.

The Labour department shall include ChildLine team in the formation of Child Labour Task Force that is slated to hold a child labour survey in June.

The ChildLine jointly with the department of women and child development is set to constitute a taskforce against child marriages, where ChildLine members will be included in conducting child marriage enquiries.

Training for anganwadi staff on child marriage prohibition act was among the inter-department coordination proposals to deal with child rights and prevention of abuse.

The advisory committee, presided over by Collector J. Ashok Kumar, also sought the assistance of the medial department in weaning out delays in issue of age certificates to children in cases referred to the Child Welfare Committees. Orientation in POCSO Act to medical personnel was also emphasised at the advisory meeting.

  • Training for police on the POCSO Act proposed

  • Child labour survey to be conducted in June