The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD), Government of India announced on May 26, 2021, that WCD in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) will set up 10 ‘One-Stop Centres’ across nine countries to support Indian women affected by violence in public or private spaces.
Ram Mohan Mishra, Secretary, WCD informed that the nine countries to have ‘One-Stop Centres’ are: Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Each country, except Saudi Arabia, will have one center. Two centres will be set up in Saudi Arabia.
What are One Stop Centres (OSC)?
•One-Stop Centre is a scheme under the National Mission for Empowerment of Women that offers an integrated support system to women affected by violence, both in public and private spaces.
•The OSC scheme is funded by the Nirbhaya Fund. The Central government offers 100 per cent financial aid to States or UTs for OSCs.
•The Usha Mehra Commission had recommended ‘One Stop Centre’ in February 2013 following the Nirbhaya gangrape in December 2012.
•India houses 700 One Stop Centres currently. The country plans to set up 300 more OSCs across the country in 2021.
One-Stop Centres: Purpose
•To provide the necessary support to women experiencing violence in private or public spaces.
•To assist women affected with violence with immediate emergency response and rescue services, medical assistance, aid women in filing FIR, psychological or counseling support, legal assistance, shelter facility such as stay homes, video conferencing facility along with free police and court proceedings,