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KSCF proposes fresh scheme to rehabilitate victims of child marriage

Over 2,500 people have been arrested in the massive crackdown on child marriages in Assam since the last week.

GUWAHATI:

Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF), founded by Nobel peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi, while welcoming the decisive action of the Assam government to eliminate and penalize child marriages in the state, on February 9 demanded that the state government provide special financial assistance, legal support and full rehabilitation to the victim.

Over 2,500 people have been arrested in the massive crackdown on child marriages in Assam since the last week.

In a statement, the KSCF said the state government’s action is the first ever stringent step by any state government in the country to protect children by applying the laws of the land in both letter and spirit.

KSCF has appealed for a fresh scheme that will fully support the victims, the scheme entails; first, immediate release of Rs 2,000 per month from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund as financial assistance to every girl whose husband has been arrested and until he gets bail, secondly, state and district legal service authority (DLSA) should be directed to grant interim compensation within a week to all girls where police have invoked sections under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO) along with the section of Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA), 2006, thirdly, girls should be given assistance if they wish to declare their marriage null and void and lastly, assistance should be given to children born out the child marriage who are entitled to support under Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.

Commending the strict action by the Assam government, KSCF managing director, Rear Admiral Rahul Kumar Shrawat, said, “Our organisation appreciates the strong action by the Assam government to eliminate and penalize child marriages in the state. The action by the state government is the first ever stringent step by any state government in the country to protect children, we also appeal to the state government to look at the human aspect involved in this situation. As young girls are victims of child marriage, the state government must take consider our proposal compassionately to provide immediate rehabilitation and compensation to the victims to reduce their pain.”

Besides these, the KSCF has also extended assistance to the state government including spreading awareness in all districts, legal aid and rehabilitation of child victims, and support to children who have suffered sexual abuse and are victims under the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The firm step by the Assam government is in line with the clarion call of Nobel peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi, who launched the world’s biggest-ever grassroots-level nationwide campaign against child marriage on October 16, 2022.

The nationwide campaign witnessed the participation of 20 million people across the country and was led by over 75,000 women and children in over 10,000 villages.

The KSFC was also one of the leading organisations that had joined the campaign along with other civil society organizations following the clarion call of Kailash Satyarthi. Assam had remained one of our focus states during the campaign and it is a positive sign that the state government has initiated bold steps to penalize perpetrators of crimes against children a few weeks after the nationwide campaign was launched.

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