Friday, August 16, 2013
Child sexual abuse in India – a situation analysis
Author: Sugata Mukhopadhyay
Background: 19% percent of the world's children live in India, which constitutes 42 percent of India’s total population (430 million). The government estimates that 40 percent of India's children vulnerable to sexual abuse, trafficking, homelessness, forced labor, drug abuse, and crime, so needs protection.
Methods: The abstract aims to do a situation analysis of child sexual abuse in India by collecting relevant information including case-studies through net-surfing, interviewing local NGOs working to protect children and interacting with some abused children.
Results: The ‘Study on Child Abuse: India 2007’ of Govt. of India sampled 12447 children, 2324 young adults and 2449 stakeholders across 13 states with the following key findings: 53.22% of children reported sexual abuse. Among them 52.94% boys and 47.06% girls. Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and Delhi reported highest percentage and incidence of sexual abuse. 21.90% of children faced severe forms of sexual abuse, 5.69% sexually assaulted and 50.76% reported other forms of sexual abuse. Children on street, at work and in institutional care reported the highest incidence of sexual assault. 50% of abusers were known to the child or are in a position of trust and responsibility. 94% children had not reported to anyone.
According to studies conducted by Civil Society Organization,
· 9000 children estimated to go missing annually
· 500,000 children estimated to be forced into sex trade annually
· Children form 40% of total commercial sex workers’ population
· 80% of these children found in the five metros – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore
· 71% illiterate.
Conclusion: Recent rapid rise of child abuse cases across the country is the outcome of escalating degradation of social values and growing desperateness to make mockery of law and administration. The crisis should be responded with large scale advocacy & social awareness to restore children’s rights and exemplary judicial decisions against abusers.
(Selected for poster presentation in SVRI Forum 2013 (14 - 17th Oct'13, Bangkok, Thailand)