Sunday, 12 February 2017

Child Rights Talk at Porvorim VPP

As a part of the free legal aid services of V.M. Salgaocar College of Law, the Porvorim Free Legal Aid Cell members organised a talk on ‘Child Rights’ at Vidya Prabodhini High School on 11th February 2017 at 4.00 pm. The topics covered were Child Abuse and Role of Parents and Children; secondly Child Rights and the Child Helpline Number.

The programme was attended by porvorim locals which included school students. Prof. Sonal Sardessai, the faculty in – charge of the cell witnessed the programme.

The dignitaries Ms. Jessica Pereira and Ms. Soraya Borgeous were extended a floral welcome. Ms. Jessica Pereira explained what kinds of child abuse exist. She stated that child abuse need not be physical only but emotional too when someone makes racist comments against a child such as “your are ugly” or “fat” or “dark skinned”.  Ms. Jessica also brought to our wake by sighting real instances of child abuse in Goan schools where boys are also victims. As per statistics the abuse to boys is much more than girls and this is because boys are afraid to speak up.

Ms. Pereira explained what role a parent should play when their child is subjected to any abuse. Parents need to be more involved to know what happens to their child whenever he goes to school or travels alone. She also urged parents to be a moral support when their child is a victim to abuse and not to blame the child rather assure him/ her of their security.  She categorically stated that, if anyone knows of such abuse cases can report the same by calling onto 1098 and the confidentiality of the caller will also be protected.

Ms. Pereira spoke to the children as to what should be their role when they are subjected to any kind of abuse. She urged the children to speak up to their parents or who they trust most and not to hide anything.

Mr. Soraya Borgeous had an interactive session with the children and asked them to list out their rights. The children readily replied that they had a right to education, food, shelter, clothing etc. Ms. Borgeous then explained to them that there are four categories of rights which cover civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights of every child they are: Right to Survival; Right to Protection; Right to Participation and the Right to development. Universally Child Rights are defined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child (UNCRC) she added.

Ms. Borgeous also explained the various forums that deal with matters of children such as the Child Welfare Committee, the Juvenile Justice Board and Children’s Court. Ms. Borgeous cited a few successes stories of rescued children leading a better life due to their efforts.

A small animated film in Konkani was then shown to the crowd. The film explained how a sweet friend or relative can turn out to be you worst enemy. It highlighted what as ‘Bad touch’ was. 

At the close of the session Prof. Sonal Sardessai explained to the people what free legal aid is and how the society could benefit from it instead of spending money for the same elsewhere.

Ms. Yuga gave in the closing note and thanked each and everyone who was a part of the programme. 

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