‘Interim Compensation in POCSO Cases – Collaborative Methods to Ensure Access to Justice’ an article co-authored by iProbono and Counsel to Secure Justice (CSJ), our longstanding partner organisation, was published in the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) journal – ‘Children First: Journal on Children’s Lives’. Through insightful stories, the journal highlights the impact of the pandemic on children’s lives. It amplifies their voices with the hope to provide children a role in developing policies related to them.
iProbono and CSJ gathered stories from the field to understand how the pandemic impacted decisions awarding interim compensation as temporary relief under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012. Our article shared the voices of key stakeholders who ensure that survivors of child sexual abuse get the justice they deserve. Voices of the families/guardians of child survivors were integral to this work and we also interviewed lawyers and social workers who play a critical role in obtaining financial relief while keeping the child’s best interests in mind.
“It’s important, in my opinion, for a children’s commission to evolve and assist in the formation of policies for those who do not have a voice and agency… Policies are made or finalised by people who may or may not be involved with children and children’s rights… The fact remains that the children on whose behalf these policies are made — or at least those whose experience might count — are rarely taken into consideration. It’s time that children’s voices are also heard…,”
– Hon’ble Justice Ravindra Bhat, Supreme Court Judge.
You can read the Children’s First Journal here – a multidisciplinary publication that covers a wide range of topics affecting children’s life, including online education challenges, socio-economic struggles, orphaned children and the fate of POCSO survivors. It not only addresses the Covid-induced concerns and losses but also explores solutions to mitigate the pandemic’s effects on children. The journal is thoughtfully divided into four categories –
- Research: examining the impact of the shift to an online education system on learning.
- Voices from the Field: This section includes our article as well as other stories about the pandemic’s impact on particularly vulnerable children such as those in Delhi’s Nizamuddin basti or Rajasthan’s rural communities.
- Critique and Commentary: discusses issues such as children’s mental health during the pandemic and the role of psychology.
- Best Practices: describes the current state of creative practices, such as the use of technology to better our educational system.
This composite journal intends to bridge the conventional gap between academic research and reflective practice. It also broadens the reader’s understanding of the problems as well as the opportunities that exist in the quest to give children their due.