iProbono and Jindal Global Law School’s Child Rights Clinic (CRC) hosted a seminar for law students and young lawyers titled “Enabling Justice for Child Survivors: A Guide to POCSO Law” on 30 April, 2022. The purpose of this seminar was to provide aspiring lawyers with a practical understanding of the laws governing child sexual abuse cases as well as the obstacles that might arise while representing vulnerable clients.
The seminar was organised in collaboration with the CRC, which is an advocacy and policy initiative at Jindal, as part of a larger effort to prepare law students for social impact litigation. The CRC’s core purpose is to collaborate with the community, activists and stakeholders working in the realm of children’s rights both nationally and internationally to promote the rights of all children using a trauma-informed approach. Their work includes conducting research, training students and stakeholders and also developing legal awareness materials to enable better access to information and resources for the community.
This interactive seminar was in a hybrid format, with a number of students and speakers at the Jindal campus in Sonepat, while the session was also open to others through zoom. Students learned about the legal provisions and procedures of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO Act) and gained an insight on how these laws are practically implemented in the courts of Delhi.
Avaantika Chawla, a Professor at Jindal Law School gave an overview of the POCSO Act, including the types of offences it covers and the crucial pre-trial procedures. Aishwarya Sinha, Social Worker, iProbono, discussed the role of a support person, her experiences working with child survivors, and the various government stakeholders involved in a child sexual abuse case. Finally, Adit S. Pujari, iProbono’s Supervisory Advocate, highlighted the various stages of a POCSO trial, the role of the child’s lawyer and the mechanisms in place for vulnerable witnesses.
“The seminar was both informative and intriguing. Understanding it from the perspectives of various practitioners not only helped us with factual comprehension but also in developing sensitivity to legal issues impacting children. The seminar was interesting as it covered a lot of technical aspects of POCSO that are frequently overlooked. All in all, it was a great learning experience, and we hope to have more such seminars in the future.”Arshya Wadha, Jindal Global Law School
Throughout the seminar, with the help of case studies and stories, the speakers were able to give the students insights into dealing with obstacles and navigating the system while keeping the best interest of the child as their top priority.
Through such seminars, iProbono strives to sensitise the upcoming generations of lawyers about issues involving children, and equipping them with not only legal knowledge but also a holistic understanding of the child protection system.