Sex education, teacher sensitisation to curb child abuse: Jammu & Kashmir High Court seeks government response

A series of suggestions have been made by a child rights activist, Meenu Padha, to prevent child sexual abuse and exploitation in an ongoing suo motu public interest litigation on the issue.
Jammu & Kashmir High Court, Child abuse
Jammu & Kashmir High Court, Child abuse

The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh recently asked the Jammu and Kashmir government to respond to a series of suggestions to curb child sexual abuse or harassment, including the introduction of sex education in the school curriculum. [Court on its own motion v. State of J&K and others]

On October 5, a bench of Chief Justice N Kotiswar Singh and Justice Rajesh Sekhri directed the government authorities to file their response to the recommendations made by a child rights activist and lawyer, Meenu Padha.

The recommendations were submitted as part of an ongoing suo motu Public Interest Litigation (PIL) initiated by the Court to check on measures to protect children from abuse and exploitation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Apart from revising the curriculum in government and private schools, the recommendations also call for teachers to be sensitized and equipped with the skills to identify victims or determine who is likely to become a victim of child abuse.

Meenu Padha has further suggested setting up one-stop centers to report child abuse complaints and to immediately redress, to some extent, the grievances of the victims and their families.

Moreover, street plays could be staged to raise public awareness and to narrate preventive measures to the public in a simple form, she pointed out.

"Anganwadis and Nukad Natak (street plays) play a prominent role in spreading awareness regarding child abuse and exploitation. These organisations can conduct social experiments and spread awareness among people. They can also narrate preventive measures to the public in the simplest and easiest form," Padha explained.

Since poverty is seen as one of the major causes of child abuse, she added that the government should make efforts to strengthen the economic conditions of families in the country.

The matter is likely to be heard next on Novmber 15.

Meenu Padha filed the recommendations before the Court through her counsel, advocate Nikhil Padha. Senior Additional Advocate General (AAG) SS Nanda appeared on behalf of the government and received notice.

[Read Order]

Court on its own motion.pdf
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