Child Abuse & Crime Against Children

336% increase in child rape cases from 2001 to 2011. Figures are under reported as majority of child rape cases are not reported to the police

  • 9/10 rapes and sexual assaults are carried out by people known to the victim
  • Insensitivity and unhelpful attitude of police, lawyers and untrained hospital staff makes prosecution and conviction difficult.

 

Why Child Rapes are Increasing? 

  • A rise in reporting due to lowering of the stigma attached + Rise of awareness mainly due to social media + celebrities opening up about being abused in their childhood also motivated parents to report
  • POCSO in 2012 & Criminal Law (Amendment) Act in 2013 led to higher reporting of rape against children
  • Definition of rape now includes many more sexual actions than were earlier classified as sexual assault
  • Age of consent for girls has been raised from 16 to 18 years. This means boys who have consensual sex can be charged with rape.

Child Abuse

POCSO Act Significance 

  • Gives exclusive definition to the crime of sexual offences against children
  • Deal with sexual assault & sexual harassment against children while safeguarding the interests of the child at every stage of judicial process

 

However, the provisions of POCSO are not properly applied by the police and other parties. Consequently, child offenders get away despite a stringent law. There is a need for greater awareness, training and familiarization of application of the law by police.

Child Pornography: SC Stand 

  • Centre to suggest ways and means to curb child pornography
  • One needs to draw a distinct line between art and obscenity and child pornography cannot be justified in the name of freedom of speech and expression
  • Parameters regarding pornography has to be decided as 19 (1)(a) of the Constitution is not “absoluteand is subject to reasonable restrictions
  • Asked the Centre to seek advice from the experts and suggestions from NCW on banning of websites dealing with adult and child pornography

 

Government Stand

  • Agencies like Interpol & CBI are taking necessary steps to block sites related to child pornography
  • It is possible to ban child pornography but it is not possible to ban pornographic websites as they are not under any country’s jurisdiction. Moreover most servers are located outside India
  • The method of blocking the URLs of such webites is usually ineffective as most such websites continue to operate by simply changing their URLs.

 

Aarambh Initiative – Country’s first ever hotline to curb sexual abuse of children through Internet & to remove child pornographic content online.

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