Children in govt-run shelter home sodomised: report
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A high-level inquiry by the Goa government into affairs of the state-run shelter home for children 'Apna Ghar', has revealed that minor boys were being sodomised by their seniors.
The inquiry by senior government officer Lavinsons Martins has revealed that there were instances of sodomy by elder boys reported in this shelter home situated on the city outskirts in Merces village.
"It is strongly suspected that sodomy is prevalent in the (shelter) home in boys section," reads the report which was tabled on the floor of the House today during the ongoing State Legislative Assembly session.
The shelter home is run by State Directorate for Women and Child development.
The report said that elder boys bullied younger and newly admitted ones and some were subjected to physical abuse.
It was also reported to the inquiry committee that some years back, boys used to visit girls in their dormitory.
Martins has pointed out that rule 60 of Juvenile Justice (JJ) Rules 2007 provides for the system to be followed to prevent abuse and in case of abuse action to be taken.
"During the inquiry it was found that there exists no system or mechanism for the children who are victims of abuse to address their grievances nor there exist any system to prevent it," the report has said.
"In fact it was found that the present system adopted at Apna Ghar of non segregation of boys based on age, period of rehabilitation, mental status, lack of supervision, toilets and bathrooms without door, facilitates abuse," Martins noted.
The inquiry was initiated after frequent escapes of juveniles from the shelter home. The report which was submitted to the state government has named 13 people responsible for the escapes.
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