A one day advocacy workshop to promote convergent approach for implementation of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2013 and Integrated Child Protection scheme (ICPS) was held at Conference Hall Dak Bunglow Poonch here today.

The workshop was organized by National Development Foundation Jammu in collaboration with State Mission Directorate ICPS and District Administration Poonch. The workshop was presided by DDC Poonch Rahul Yadav where as State Mission Director ICPS G.A. Sofi was Chief Guest on the occasion.

While speaking on the occasion DDC Poonch Rahul Yadav stressed that awareness of community is very important in order to stop exploitation of children, protection and development of children. He added that in Poonch whenever incidents of abuse are being reported, they are dealt with utmost priority and high sensitivity. Although there is no organized trafficking of children in Poonch but we cannot ignore it.

He further added that there is need of setting up a vibrant and confident environment wherein the children are confident and aware about the reporting mechanisms.  He stressed upon the need of public awareness at grass root level. He also stressed to spread awareness on Childline services where children can report.

In his address Mission Director ICPS Mr. G.A. Sofi said that there are number of crimes happening in the society and children are watching all this. We should dream for a better society for which we should invest on children and provide proper care and protection to them. He also discussed about the discrimination among the girl children. He appealed all the participants to take care of all the children irrespective of their caste, color, sex or religion. He directed the heads of various departments to sensitize their officers on JJ Act and ICPS scheme for further awareness at grass root level.

Principal Magistrate JJB Mohd Ashraf while interacting with the participants said that the incidents of child abuse and child exploitation have increased as compared to the past. He added that government is introducing Acts and schemes keeping in view the need and demand from grass root level but the same cannot be successful without awareness at mass level. He added that our society should be strengthened in such a way that the children in need of care and protection can be taken care by the society within the existing resources.

Resource Person Neha Gandotra gave a detailed presentation on the structure and target groups of ICPS & JJ Act. Rajiv Khajuria gave remarks and set the context of the workshop. He spoke on the possible convergences for care and protection of underprivileged and vulnerable children at the district level. Prof Arti Bakshi Member SCOC also interacted with the participants. IEC material was also released by the dignitaries present in the workshop.

Prominent among others who were present and spoke on the occasion included Principal Magistrate JJ Board Mohd Ashraf, Member SCOC Prof. Arti Bakshi, Member SCOC Rajiv Khajuria, Chairperson Child Welfare Committee Mr. Anwar Hussain Shah, ADDC Abdul Hameed and Addl. SP Poonch Anwar Haq.

Different stakeholders from Government and Civil Society including members of Juvenile Justice Board Poonch, Members of Child Welfare Committee Poonch, Members of District Child Protection Unit Poonch, members of Special Juvenile Police Unit Poonch, Child/ Juvenile Police Officers of Poonch District,  Officers from Social Welfare Department, ICDS Department, Health Department, Labour Department, Education Department, members of Block Child Protection Committee, members of District Child Protection Committee Poonch, Childline team, NGOs and CBOs also attended the workshop.

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