Interventions undertaken by the POCSO Division recently
- 1 ‘Smile Club’: POCSO Survivors Integration Project
In 2019, DCPCR collaborated with NGOs working in the field of child protection to initiate ’Project Smile Club’ to rehabilitate and reintegrate victims of child sexual abuse.
Through this project, the Commission connects these children with resource personnel/ NGOs equipped to deal with the intricacies of the needs and issues that may manifest from child sexual abuse so as to prioritize children’s welfare amidst the trauma they had faced, and ensures that they have access to education, health services, psychological well-being, legal aid & protection, etc.
- 2 Strengthening Institutions to deliver justice to POCSO survivors
The Commission has been endeavouring to provide justice to the survivors of child sexual abuse by strengthening institutions and ensuring that the necessary provisions and assistance outlined under the POCSO Act are being followed and provided to concerned children. In the last 6 months, the Commission has been examining data collected from various agencies so as to assess the implementation of these provisions.
Accordingly, the Commission has initiated the process of streamlining the district panels of the interpreters, translators, experts, special educators, and support persons given that the District Child Protection Units are mandated to maintain a register with the details of interpreters, translators, experts, special educators and support persons for the purposes of the Act under section 5 of the POCSO Act 2012, Model Rules 2020
- 3 Ensuring timely justice to POCSO survivors
The Commission identified that given that forensic reports are a very critical and a time-sensitive part of any POCSO investigation, any delay in this part of the investigation significantly postpones the process of filing a chargesheet, thereby delaying justice to children who have faced this intense trauma.
Concerned about this issue, the Commission began closely monitoring the stages of the investigation where the delays occur. In its quest to ensure the investigations in POCSO cases are completed within the stipulated time, the Commission sought quarterly reports from the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Government of Delhi to monitor if the forensic examinations are completed on time.
On examining, the Commission observed that while almost 50% of these cases’ investigation was completed within 3 months time, the delay occurred on part of the police in collecting these reports and filing chargesheets. By actively addressing this delay, the Commission was able to expedite the process of investigation, thereby bringing justice closer to these children.
- 4 Standardization of Medico-Legal Proforma in POCSO Cases
The Commission observed that Medico-Legal Case proforma(s) being used by the medical practitioners to record the incidence of child sexual abuse lack standardization.
Recognizing the critical role of such documents in providing justice to the children who have faced sexual violence by assisting investigating officers and prosecutors to present the case appropriately in the Court, the Commission is resolute in addressing these inconsistencies and lack of procedural uniformity.
While the ‘Guidelines and Protocols-Medico-legal care for survivors/victims of sexual violence were prescribed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in March ‘14, the Commission has observed that the said Proforma is not being used by all the health care/medical facilities.
Hence, keeping in view its role envisioned under the POCSO Act 2012, the Commission has taken cognizance of the matter and worked closely with the Health Department to ensure that the format of the Medico-Legal Performa is standardised.