Officials from District Administration, HCDI, special guests with the participants on the first day of the workshop on ‘Identifying and Responding to Child Abuse in Nagaland’ held at AIDA, Don Bosco, Dimapur on November 29 and 30.
Stakeholders from Nagaland and Assam discuss ways for strengthening responsive and coordinated child protection systems
Dimapur, December 2 (MExN): A two-day workshop on Identifying and Responding to Child Abuse in Nagaland was held at AIDA, Don Bosco, Dimapur on November 29 and 30, bringing together key stakeholders from Nagaland and Assam to discuss and commit to a clear roadmap for the strengthening of responsive and coordinated child protection systems.
The workshop was organized by Nagaland Development Outreach (NDO), Nagaland Alliance for Children and Women Rights (NACWR) and Childline Dimapur, and supported by Holistic Child Development India (HCDI)/ERIKS.
A press release received here stated that Vitono Haralu, Peace Channel was the moderator of the workshop.
Khiuzan Kaurinta, EAC, Hq Dimapur was the special guest in the inaugural session. Fr CP Anto, Principal, NEISSR; Rev Amop Noklang, Director, NDO; Major Dr Mughavi, Chairman, NDO; Fr Glen Mascarenhas, Treasurer, HCDI; Thomas Raj Kumar, Director, HCDI; and Magdali Lakra, Project Officer, HCDI were present.
Khiuzan Kaurinta, in her inaugural address, said that child abuse is hushed away and not talked about and that NGOs and churches must come together to make child lives more meaningful.
Stating people are created to love and things are created to use, but now things are in chaos since we today love the things which are immaterial and we are using the people, Major Dr. Mughavi quoted Proverbs 31:8-9 from the Bible “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy”.
The purpose and the expected outcome of the workshop as highlighted by Thomas Raj Kumar was to support the participants in developing strategies for strengthening of child protection systems in Nagaland, primary through information sharing for better coordination across all stakeholders, better understanding of the relevance of customary to the issue of child abuse, greater involvement of youth and churches, and supportive role of NGOs to to Government/law implementing agencies/authorities. Emphasizing on underreporting of child abuse, he called to action the NGOs to bring churches in establishing coordination to prevent and respond to cases of child abuse in the state.
The first day of the workshop was dedicated to an overview of the prevalence of child sexual abuse, challenges faced by NGOs, child protection mechanisms available and strategies adopted by NGOs in tackling the issues of child abuse. Smt. K. Ela, Director, Prodigal’s Home/Childline Dimapur highlighted the prevalence of child abuse in Nagaland. Shri. Yanger, President, NACWR shared the challenges faced by NGOs in preventing and combating child sexual abuse and exploitation. Shri. Nirmal Deka, Centre Coordinator, Childline Guwahati, and Smt. Neingutttuonuo Kulnu, Centre Coordinator, Childline Kohima presented the strategies adopted by NGOs in tackling the issues of child physical and sexual violence. Smt. Raitale Zeliang, P.M. (SCPS), Child Protection Services, Department of Social Welfare presented the extent and forms of child abuse and mechanism available at the state level (Nagaland) to curb.
The second day was focused on participatory sessions, targeted towards the participants, to pave the way for strengthening child protection systems by developing strategies for the way forward.
Altogether fifty-three participated in the workshop from Childline (Assam and Nagaland), District Child Protection Units and NGOs.