TN prioritises child protection, Health News, ET HealthWorld

CHENNAI: In the wake of recent suicide by a girl student in Coimbatore, the Tamil Nadu government on Saturday released a Tamil Nadu State Policy for Children 2021 to ensure prevention and protection of children from all forms of violence, abuse and exploitation.

The policy says every child shall have access to quality healthcare and education and will be able to freely express his or her views on any issue concerning him/her.

The policy, which was released in Chennai by chief minister M K Stalin, says, “The government will introduce and adopt child protection policy in all panchayats and urban bodies for creating child safe spaces in whole state of Tamil Nadu.”

It also wants to introduce a child safeguarding policy in all schools to make all schools safe for children.
Forming internal complaints committee in all schools under POSH Act (The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013) and strengthening existing child protection systems like village level child protection committees and neighbourhood child protection committees and conducting awareness campaigns against all forms of violence against children and its negative impact on children, laws/institutions to be accessed or approached for redressal, implementing highest standards of safety and security within all child care institutions, building a preventive, responsive children protection system, promoting effective enforcement of legislation are some of the measures suggested to protect the children in the policy.

It suggests upgrading rehabilitation services under child protection system with special focus on mental health and psycho-social support and ensuring privacy of the children in need of care and protection, allocation of adequate budget in proportion to the hilt population of the state.

The policy suggests creation of bala sabhas in all gram panchayats where all children in the age group of 12 to 18 are members and they shall meet at least four times a year like gram sabhas and pass resolution on matters relating to children and submit it to gram sabha to take appropriate action.

The government says the policy will be put into action by developing comprehensive plan of action with consultation of all stake holders like government agencies, civil society organisations and academic institutions and children.

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