Bhubaneswar: While the world has experienced many crises, COVID-19 presents unprecedented challenges. Media coverage indicates an increase of domestic violence and violence against children. It is abundantly clear that risk factors for violence, abuse, and neglect are on the rise for children under lockdown. There is an emerging need for developing a multipronged strategy for actions by all concerned stakeholders to ensure Children’s safety at home, community, institutions, worksites and at all levels, opined by many eminent speakers from different parts of India in a National E-Consultation on “Combating the Violence Against Children in COVID 19 Post lock down situation”. This e-consultation was organized by National Action and Coordination Group for Ending Violence Against Children (NACG EVAC), India, which is a country level Civil Society platform of South Asian Initiative to Ending Violence Against Children (SAIEVAC), an apex body of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). The e-consultation was presided by Ranjan Kumar Mohanty, Chairperson of NACG EVAC, India and the consultation focused on the issues relating to child sexual abuse, child labour, child marriage, child trafficking, school safety, children with disability and children in difficult circumstances.

While inaugurating the e-consultation, Mr. Priyank Kanoongo, Chairperson, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, has raised his grave concern on the online abuse of children through the use of pornographies as well as possible critical situation of child labour during the post lockdown situation. He has invited all stakeholder from Govt., Non-govt., civil society and from different platforms for a concentrated and coordinated efforts to provide a safe environment for children.

Dr. RinchenChopel, Director General, SAIEVAC has mentioned that during this post lockdown situation safety and security of children is a concern for all of us, govt, non-govt. civil society members etc. We all should have collective effort to combat this situation.

Amongst others,Mr. Sanjay Gupta, Vice-Chairperson, NACG EVAC & Chetna, New Delhi, D. Roshan Kumar, Vice-Chairperson, NACG EVAC & SEEDS, Andhra PradeshMs. Razia Ismail, Head, India Alliance for Child Rights,Mr. P. Joseph Victor Raj, Former National Convenor, CACL from Puduchery; Mr. Mikhael Kumar Pradhan, Head Advocacy, World Vision, India, Ms. Anuradha Vidyasankar, Head SRRC, Childline India Foundation, Mr. Manabendranath Mandal, Chairperson, South Asia-ATSEC SLART, Sanjay Mishra, Treasurer NACG India, Dr.CharanjieebKakoty, Director, NESPYM, Assam, Ms. HK Keny, Love Care Home, Nagaland, Mr. Prakash Rath, CEO, Open Learning System, Bhubaneswar; have presented their views on various issues like child labour, child trafficking, online safety of children etc. There were around90 participants in the E-consultation and all were agreed to submit recommendations to the govt. on combating the child abuse during the post lock down situation.