Exemplary punishment should be awarded to any culprit of crime against children: Heptulla

Pothashang News Service: Imphal, November, 12, 2019: Exemplary punishment should be awarded to any culprit of crime against children as per law, Manipur Governor Dr. Najma Heptulla said on the occasion of 8th Foundation day observation of Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MCPCR) held at Old High Court Complex, Imphal on Tuesday.

Manipur government established MCPCR on November 12, 2012. The main activity of this commission is to safeguard the interests of children and to prevent atrocities against children in the State.  ‘Children of today, our keepers tomorrow’ was the theme of the observation.

Heptulla said it is shocked to know that many cases of atrocities to minor girls like molesting, gang-rape, sexual assault etc are happening in such a tiny and beautiful state coupled with rich cultural heritage.

Children have the same rights as adults. As a vulnerable group, children have particular rights that recognize their special need for protection and also that help them develop their full potential. Children are not helpless objects of charity or a property of their parents. They are recognized as human beings and the subjects of their own rights. A child is an individual, a family and community member with rights and appropriate responsibilities for his or her age and development stage. Children should enjoy the basic qualities of life as rights rather than privileges accorded to them, she said.

Every child whether a boy or girl irrespective of age is unique and has value importance as a person with a right for their human dignity to be respected. When we understand and respect children’s dignity, we are able to create better protection mechanisms and the children themselves can act as active agents in their own protection. This helps to develop and build recognition of children as independent bearers of rights with a sense of identity and a positive implication for their self esteem, she added.

Social welfare minister Nemcha Kipgen said the healthy developments of children are crucial for the future well-being of any society because they are still developing. Children are more vulnerable than adults especially to poor living conditions such as poverty, inadequate health care, nutrition, safe water, housing and environmental pollution. The effects of diseases, malnutrition and poverty threaten the future of children and the future of the societies in which they live. As per social research findings, their experiences significantly influence their future development. The course of their development determines their contribution, or cost, to society over the course of their lives.

The minister appealed to all concerned for joining hands to nurture our children to enjoy their rights fully and to grow as responsible citizens of our country.

As part of the foundation day observation six children who excelled in education and co-curricular activities from Child Care Institutions of Imphal West and East districts were distributed citation and cash awards.

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