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    Published On : Thu, Oct 15th, 2015
    National News | By Nagpur Today Nagpur News

    Please Commit to a Roadmap to Protect Our Children from Sexual Abuse


    Child Sexual Abuse
    New Delhi/Nagpur:
    Every day, 8 children in India are subject to Child Sexual Abuse. This August, my home town Bengaluru saw another child rape. A 3-year-old was sexually abused by a school employee who was supposed to be taking care of her.

    This is a risk all our children face all the time. When they go to school, to a hospital and surprisingly almost half the time, from within the family or community. India is home to the largest number of sexually abused children in the world.

    Ignoring this threat to our children is inconsistent with our responsibility as adults to protect them. We need to do more. We need to protect our children.

    I am a Rajya Sabha MP and I am determined to use all my resources and power to make children safer. I need your help.

    Sign my petition and let’s ask PM Modi to make the safety of our children a priority for his government and to commit to a roadmap to protect our children from sexual abuse.

    I need lakhs of us to tell the PM how important this is to us. I want to tell him that each and every Indian requests him to take action.

    These are our children and it is our responsibility to ensure a safe and positive childhood for them, well protected against abuse. This makes me angry, as it should you. This needs to stop.

    It is reprehensible, that 68 years since Independence, no Government so far has made child safety a priority. The NDA Government should take this opportunity to create a Maximum Governance approach for the safety of India’s 400 million children.

    Child Sexual Abuse is a form of terrorism against our children. With every second child at risk of abuse, it is time to act and protect India’s 400 million children. Our children deserve better.

    You and I cannot fight Child Sexual Abuse alone. We have to come together and raise our voices collectively.

    Sign my petition requesting Prime Minister Modi to take the lead and to commit to a strong roadmap to protecting children from sexual abuse. And this needs to happen now.

    LETTER TO

    Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi

    I write to you to make a humble appeal of your Government to commit to a road-map to Protect Our Children from Sexual Abuse.

    Every day, 8 children in India are subject to Child Sexual Abuse. This August, my home town Bengaluru saw another child rape. A 3-year-old was sexually abused by a school employee who was supposed to be taking care of her. This is apart from the hundreds that remain unreported.

    The World Health Organisation reports that India is home to the largest number of sexually abused children. In 2007, the Ministry of Women and Child Development through a sample study, made shocking revelations:

    • 1 out 2 children reported having faced one or more forms of sexual abuse.
    • Every 5th Child is subjected to severe forms of sexual abuse. This includes sexual assault, making the child fondle private parts, making the child exhibit private body parts and being photographed in the nude.
    • Every 155th minute, a child below 16 years of age is raped in India
    • A child below 10 years of age is raped every 13th hour
    • 50% abusers are persons known to the child or in a position of trust and responsibility (family member, close relative, friend or neighbour).

    Despite an increase in these horrific cases, the institutional response to Child Sexual Abuse remains very lethargic. While the law against child sexual abuse, the Protection of Children of Sexual Offences Act, 2013 is well intention-ed, there are several gaps that remain in its implementation.

    As a result, child sexual abuse cases are not disposed off, in the one year deadline, as stipulated by the POCSO Act. Worse still, our children continue to be exposed to risks due to an unresponsive institutional machinery.

    The conviction rate under the POCSO Act is a paltry 2.4%, and the pendency rates for disposal of child rape cases in the courts have increased by a massive 84% in just 4 years!

    Worse still, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, charged with monitoring and implementing the POCSO Act, functioned for almost a year, without a Chairperson or sitting members.

    It is reprehensible, that 68 years since Independence, no Government so far, has made child safety a priority. The NDA Government should take this opportunity to create a Maximum Governance approach for the safety of India’s 400 million children.

    Prime Minister Modi, it is my request to you to take the following specific actions, in an urgent and immediate manner:

    a) As an immediate priority, undertake an exhaustive fact-finding study/audit on the full extent of child sexual abuse in India, including child sex trafficking, tourists scouting for child sex and child pornography, prior to designing a comprehensive architecture to address this malaise.

    b) Present these findings to a multi-stakeholder group comprising of all stakeholders including the police, judiciary, child rights activists, policymakers and others, to evolve an overall framework of laws for Protecting Our Children.

    c) This national road-map for protecting our children needs to be backed by a detailed road-map and timeline, and the Government should be held clearly liable for the implementation of such a road-map.

    The road-map should be designed with the objective of ensuring that there are enough protective institutional mechanisms in place that shall guarantee the safety of our children from sexual predators in all institutions, including schools and orphanages.

    c) Urgently establish a framework for the regulation of Child Care Institutions such as schools, orphanages, tutorials and others, and involve all concerned stakeholders including child rights groups and citizens groups in its designing. This body must create and enforce statutory guidelines for the Protection of Our Children.

    Child Sexual Abuse is a form of terrorism against our children. With every second child at risk of abuse, it is about time that we acted as responsible custodians of India’s 400 million children. Our children deserve better.

    RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR

    Source : change.org
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