Four-fold increase in number of rapes against children between 1994 and 2016, reveals report
INDIA has registered a four-fold increase in the number of rapes against children between 1994 and 2016, according to a new report by an alliance of six child-focused organisations. The report quotes National Crime Records Bureau data, which shows that the number of rapes against children in 1994 was 3,986 while in 2016 it was 16,863, accounting for a rise of 4.2 times. Titled ‘Child Rights in India - An Unfinished Agenda’, the report talks about a number of issues including, malnutrition, crime against children and education.
It has also identified four components of child rights that, it says, have received lesser attention. These four components are sexual and reproductive health, access to play, recreation and leisure, family and community-based protection mechanisms and engagement of children in decision-making at family and community level. The report states that decreasing sex ratio and increase in incidents of rape are the two indicators that demonstrate the increased vulnerability of girls. Girls, especially from rural areas across the country, believe that security concerns are leading to limited mobility, thus hampering their economic and social development. “In all States, girls reported that their mobility is severely compromised due to safety and security reasons and this does not affect boys to the same extent,” it said.
According to an NCRB report, ‘Crimes in India 2016’, a total of 106,958 crimes were committed against children that year. A majority of these crimes were kidnapping and abduction (52.3 per cent) and sexual offences (34.4 per cent), including child rape. The child rights report has also identified that social disaggregation on the lines of gender, social groups and religion increase vulnerability of children and their inability to demand their rights. It acknowledges India’s progress in combating under-five deaths due to preventable causes, which has reached current global average of 39 per 1,000 live births, and is more likely to achieve the target set in (UN’s) Sustainable Development Goals.
The India report is aligned to the global report -- ‘A Second Revolution: 30 years of child rights and the unfinished agenda’ -- launched recently in New York by Joining Forces Alliance. Representatives of the alliance that has brought out the India report said, “The country has progressed well on a number of child-related indicators. Introduction of a number of legislations and policies to resolve the issues are commendable. However even today, violation of child rights is of great concern.”