Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today sought setting up of an institutional mechanism for safety and security of women and children,especially in urban areas,saying collective action was required for their protection.
Addressing the conference of Chief Ministers on internal security,Singh said the issue which requires collective action was that of crimes against women and children for which the government has enacted several laws providing stringent punishment and more sensitive treatment of victims during investigation and trial.
“We also need to put in place institutional mechanisms to ensure the safety and security of women and children,particularly in the urban context.
“Such mechanisms include sensitisation of police personnel,particularly at levels with which the victim comes into contact,setting up dedicated helplines,measures for safety at the work place,and so on. I would urge all of you to explore how these outcomes can be best achieved,” he said.
The Prime Minister referred to the recently enacted Criminal Law (Amendment) Act,2013,the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention,Prohibition and Redressal) Act,2013 and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act,2012 for safety and security of women and children.
Singh also drew the attention of the chief ministers to the increase in number and intensity of incidents of communal violence in 2012 than the previous year saying this requires special attention. “I am sure that all of us agree that maintenance of communal harmony in our country is critical for our continued growth and prosperity. It is absolutely imperative that we deal very firmly with communal forces of all types. Simultaneously,we also need to recognise and address the special needs of minorities and weaker sections of our society,particularly Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes,” he said.