About 70 per cent of elopement cases in the state are treated under POCSO Act with a greater number of children affected by elopement cases.
It was reported during the one-day consultation programme on gender-based violence held on Wednesday in continuation of 16th days activism against gender-based violence. It was organised by South Asian Institution or Rural and Agriculture Management (SAIRAM) at its conference hall, with Women Action for Development.
Speaking about sexual harassment committee and POCSO, advocate Thiyam Rajkishore said that most of sexual harassment cases at workplace are not reported. It is a serious issue that cannot be undermined and even though there are many laws for equal treatment, women are yet to get equal treatment, he added.
It is true that there are many laws in favour of women but that is positive discrimination, that cannot be treated as discrimination negatively, he said.
“Child abuse or child sexual harassment are mainly committed by close ones and very less by outsiders”, said Rajkishore. Actually, about 97 per cent of offences are done by persons close to the victim or the family, he said.
Regarding POCSO cases in Manipur, Rajkishore said that elopement issues in Manipur are very high and that POCSO has no gender discrimination, it protects both boys and girls. However, when it comes to elopement cases in the state, most of the boys are sent to juvenile home or jail while there are few girls sent to jail under POCSO Act for elopement, the advocate said.
United NGO Mission Manipur secretary, U Nobokishore said a change can be brought about if everyone works unitedly as changes have been seen compared to the last 15 years. However, there is a need for the right intervention with the right instrument at the right time and right moment, he added.
The consultation was attended by professor Chinglen Meisnam, economic department MU; WAD secretary Sobita Mangsatabam and professor HS Sharma.