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Number of orphaned children may rise, says ASCPCR

By City Correspondent

GUWAHATI, March 2 - Around 30 children of Golaghat district lost their parents in the hooch tragedy that took place recently in some tea garden areas of upper Assam, said Dr Sunita Changkakoti, Chairperson of the Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR) here today.

�According to information received from the district child welfare committee of Golaghat, till Friday around 30 children were orphaned as their parents died after consuming spurious local liquor. The number of such orphans may increase in the coming days,� Changkakoti said.

The ASCPCR Chairperson said she has already communicated with the Deputy Commissioner of Golaghat district regarding all necessary steps to take care of the victims.

�Now those children need mental and physical care. We should also ensure their education and proper shelter in the coming days. Counselling is the need of the hour for them. So very soon a team from ASCPCR from Guwahati will leave for Golaghat to take stock of the situation,� Changkakoti added.

Meanwhile, the ASCPCR has come up with a �Charter of Survivors of Child Trafficking� which will be released on March 4 as part of its establishment day and the child protection day.

�Since 2017 the Commission has worked with special focus on combating child trafficking and has organised five zonal level consultations on the menace which culminated in a State-level consultation on combating child trafficking and ensuring rights of the survivors. Thus, the Commission has worked with the survivors of child trafficking and has come up with a charter of survivors of child trafficking. The charter is a set of recommendations put forward by the victims of trafficking who survived and are currently under the care and protection of �Ujjawala Homes� in the State. The Commission has interacted with the survivors of child trafficking in these homes and recorded their demands and recommendations in the form of a charter,� a statement of the ASCPCR said.

The ASCPCR was constituted under Section 7 of the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005 by the State government. In 2013 the State government declared celebration of the establishment day of the Commission as Child Protection Day. As such, Assam become the first state in the country to have officially declared such a day.

In 2018, ASCPCR recorded 20 child rights violation cases, 53 cases related to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 10 child labour cases, 12 corporal punishment cases, six child marriage cases, 36 cases related to child need in care and protection, nine cases related to right of education and 11 child trafficking cases. According to the ASCPCR Chairperson, most of those cases were suo-moto.

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