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POCSO Act in Khasi hailed

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SHILLONG, March 3: The Meghalaya State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MSCPCR) has come up with the Khasi translation of the POCSO Act of 2012, which is expected to help the people have a better understanding of this legislation dealing with sexual assault and sexual exploitation of children.
The Director of the Meghalaya National Law University, Kerpa Meida Lyngdoh Nongbri said having the translated version of the Act is a step forward.
“It might not be one step ahead since we need to catch up with many of the challenges. But it is definitely a step forward since we are planning to reach out to the people to understand what the Act is all about,” she said.
Lauding the MSCPCR for the effort, she said having a translated version of the Act is not easy.
“An effort has been made to translate the operative part and important provisions of the Act so that we understand what abuse and exploitation is. We will need many other translated versions,” Nongbri said.
She said the POCSO Act is a strong legal framework to provide comprehensive protection, legal remedies, and justice for children.
She further said the effective implementation of the Act will happen if they can make people understand what it stands for.
Nongbri said she understands the challenges of handling the victims of sexual abuse as she had been a special judge under the POCSO Act.
She said she has seen how a victim turns hostile or comes to court fearing the stigma associated with sexual abuse. Children exposed to trafficking also undergo trauma, she added.
“As citizens, we have the responsibility to speak out if we come across cases of children being sexually exploited,” she said.
Nongbri said the POCSO Act offers more space and scope to deal with the offences against children.
“Before this Act, we only had the Indian Penal Code which did not speak much about abuse against children,” she said.
MSCPCR chairperson, Iamonlang M. Syiem said the Garo translation of the POCSO Act is in progress.
“When we started a year ago, we did not realise it would be so difficult to translate the Act into Khasi. Many words are taboo or slang. We do not utter them in public,” she said.
Syiem felt it was high time they had a language with a certain kind of decency and integrity.
Social Welfare Minister Paul Lyngdoh in the presence of Law Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh recently released “Ki Kyndon Aiñ”, the Khasi version of the POCSO Act, in Shillong.

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