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Offences against child and ways to tackle it

Childhood should be carefree, playing in the sun; not living a nightmare in the darkness of the soul. - Dave Pelzer

One of the common & basic problems around the world is a crime against children as we all know that children are most vulnerable to crime because of lack of physical power also the knowledge in them to understand between the good or bad is less as compared to an adult.

In today's research, we will try to analyze the common offences against the child and how to overcome the same.

Definition of a child:

According to the world health organization
A child is a one who is 19 years old and younger to them unless national law provides other age of an adult. However, those people who fall into the age of 10 to 19 are known as an adolescent.

Adolescent:

A person who is in a process of developing from a child to an adult.
In India child is defined as a person below 14 years of age the recently amended juvenile justice amendment act defines children between the ages of 16 – 18 years as an adult if they commit any heinous crime.

Different offences against a child:

Now let us discuss some of the general offences against Child

Child labour

Child labour is not a unique problem to India according to UNICEF report India has a large number of children employed in hazardous jobs as we discussed above the definition of a child those who fall under the definition are not allowed to work even as a housemaid or something but those who fall under the definition of an adolescent can be employed except in hazardous jobs.

Now let us understand in quick that what does hazardous job means the jobs in which there was a high risk to life is known as hazardous jobs.
Despite heavy punishments under Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 this problem is not decreasing in India let us examine some data from the 2011 census. According to the census, India has nearly 10.1 million working children out of which UP, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan are on top.

Child marriage

Child marriage defines as a marriage of a girl & boy before the age set by the court it includes both formal and informal union child marriage puts the child at the high risk of abuse and also destroy their life because everyone has a right to choose their life as they like it was observed by UNICEF that rate of child marriage is decreasing in India but still there are a lot of places in which these type of customs are still prevalent the real reason, in my opinion, is proper education the govt have to start setting up the educational institution at the ground level also because education is one of an important key of self-awareness. Now let us understand it by the data given by UNICEF.

Child pornography

Child pornography is a type of sexual exploitation of a child according to federal law child pornography is a visual depiction of sexually explicit content including minor.

Child pornography is a very serious offence because it is worth destroying the whole life of a minor because after that incident maybe he will not able to trust anybody in his life. The sexual abuse against the child is a very common problem because they seem to be an easy target both physically and mentally. The internet in today’s world work as both boon & bane there is many uses of the internet but it is worth of destroying one’s life it was observed by the federal law that in most of the cases when the child get to know that his sexual abuse images are on the internet he will live as a victim whole of his life.

Now let us quickly try to understand it from data given by various sources It was observed that national security has reviewed nearly 25 million images which include sexual abuse of child currently the USA was leading in publication and consumption of child pornography but according to India child protection fund there is a steep increase of child porn in lockdown.

Child trafficking

Child trafficking is a serious problem around the globe many children annually trafficked from one place to another. The child trafficking generally takes place because of making them work as a beggar or prostitute according to U.S department India is a source of the child trafficking the real reason behind the child trafficking is the social strata in the country.

According to 2014 report on human trafficking by united nation office on drugs and crime, 27 % of human trafficking victims are children out of which maximum number is of girls child trafficking is generally happens either for the sex trade or child labour.

Abduction and kidnapping of a child

It was observed that generally abduction and child trafficking both are linked process abduction of a child happens to make him sell for illegal trades if the govt wants to tackle the problem of child trafficking then they have to control the problem of abduction but it is not the only reason for which abduction happens some of the other causes for abduction are:
  1. Ransom
  2. Person grudges
  3. Family dispute

Acts & punishments:

Now as we discussed some of the main problems in the life of a child let us discussed the steps that the government had taken to tackle those problems:
Punishment of Crime against children under Indian penal code
  1. Assault on a lady (Girl Child) with Intent to Outrage her Modesty (section 354 IPC) - The punishment for disrobing any girl and also compelled her to be naked shall be punished with minimum 3 years and maximum 7 with fine.
     
  2. Sexual Harassment (Section 354A IPC) – Any person who tries to harass any girl in a way that sexually remarks her shall be punished for 1 year and if make physical contact with her than the punishment will be going up to 3 years.
     
  3. Assault or Use of Criminal Force to Girl Child with Intent to Disrobes (Section 354B IPC) – As we discussed above that if the man compelled any girl to be naked shall be punished with minimum 3 years and maximum 7 years of punishment.
     
  4. Voyeurism (Section 354C IPC )-Any person who tries to watch or capture any women or girl engaged in the private activity shall be punished for minimum 1 year and maximum three years on first conviction and on second conviction minimum 3 and maximum 7 years.
     
  5. Kidnapping & Abduction (Section 363, 364,364A, 365, 366, 367, 368 & 369 IPC). - The maximum punishment for kidnapping a child is 7 years.
     
  6. Abetment of Suicide of Child (Section 305 IPC) - whoever abets any child to commit suicide shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life or a term not exceeding ten years with a fine.
     
  7. Importation of Girls from Foreign Country (Section 366-B IPC) (under 18 years of age) – whoever imports in India any girl after the full knowledge of the fact that she will be forced for sexual intercourse shall be punished with a maximum punishment of 10 years & fine.
     
  8. Buying of Minors for Prostitution (Section 373 IPC) – whoever buys hires or attain possession of any child illegally shall be liable for the punishment which may extend to ten years included fine.
     
  9. Selling of Minors for Prostitution (Section 372 IPC) – whoever sells any minor with the intent to engaging him income illegal and unlawful trade shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to ten years included fine.

Crime against children under special local laws:

  1. Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 – Came into force on 1st  November 2007 the main aim of this act is to prohibit the child marriage also to make sexual intercourse with minor child punishable.
     
  2. Child labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986- This act prohibits and regulate the employment of a child.
     
  3. Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956- This act came into force in pursuance of international commission at new York the main aim of this act is to make commercial sexual exploitation of a child as a crime.
     
  4. Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 – This act was a gender-neutral act and the main object to frame this act is too quick disposal of child-related offence and also to make the child-related offence more stringent this act deals with offences like child penetration, child pornography and stalking.

Ways to tackle the problem:

Now the main question which comes around everyone who is reading this article is that when there are so many articles and in that articles, there are stringent punishments then why the graph of crime against a child is not coming down in India we will discuss some ways that will help to decrease the crime rate in India.
  1. Parental awareness:
    In my opinion, the lot of cases of sexual abuse against child start within the family parents have to start noticing even the single complaint from their child so that it will not transform into something more serious in future parents have to notice every sign given by their child.
     
  2. Campaign for parents:
    Most of the parents and person don’t know about the laws, therefore, most of the times they didn’t raise their voice which makes the offender do the same thing with another child.
     
  3. Students counselling classes:
    Schools have to start introducing the student counselling classes in which they have to teach student’s difference between good and bad also some children’s are not able to tell something within their family they will disclose it in school sometimes.
     
  4. Setting up the deterrent example:
    The courts also have to start taking cognizance of the offence more seriously which includes children in it.

Some Important Precedents:
Mr Ani datt Sharma vs. MCD, Gnct Delhi on 17 December 2013
In this case, it was observed that person can file public interest litigation to know any person previous medical and psychiatric treatment before employing him any job related to children. Suppose the person wants a Job in an orphanage but he has some medical background which will be harmful to children than any person can file public interest litigation for the same.

Ms Era through Dr Manjula … vs. State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi) on 21st July 2017

In this case, it was presented before the court that the data collected by national crime bureau of investigation & Ministry of a woman and child development shows that crime against children is growing day by day which needed that there have to be effective penalties to set deterrence and also to protect the interest of the child as a witness and victim too.

Bachpan Bachao Andolan V. Union of India and Ors.
In this case, the writ petition was filed in the court regarding the trafficking of a child to Nepal for circus the court issued following guidelines for the same.
  1. Conduct raids on circuses to liberate the children
  2. Issue  notification prohibiting the employment of children
  3. Talk to their parents if they wanted to take their child back
  4. Frame proper scheme for rehabilitation.
Conclusion:
From this research, we concluded that crime against children is one of the serious problems that India is facing right now even after the stringent penalties the offences related to children’s are not stopping the main reason is that judiciary is not setting up any deterrence example so that offenders think twice to commit the crime also parents have to be self-aware so that no one can take benefit of their child It was observed that not only a court cannot decrease the graph of offences against a child the parents also have to be aware of every change in their child because as we know that childhood is like clay you can mould it in any way to make there future brighter or otherwise.

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