Children make up for a large portion of the society not just in India but in
the entire world. They are what define the future generation. Unfortunately, a
lot of the times they are not looked after or taken care of especially in their
younger age when they are the most vulnerable. The research paper focuses on
bringing light upon the debilitating condition of children, through the
violation of their fundamental rights as stated in the constitution. Through the
research, the author aims to highlight the ways in which these exploitations
occur and recommend policy changes that can be implemented to put an end to
these forms of abuse.
Children are an integral part of our society.
Definition Of “Child” In Conventions And Charters
According to the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the child (UNCRC),
Article 1, child can be described as “every human being below the age of 18
years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained
- According to the Juvenile Justice Act of 2002 any male minor who is
below the age of 16 years and any female minor is below the age of 18 is
referred to as a child.
- According to the Indian Penal Code, 1860, child is defined as 12 years
- According to the Immortal Traffic Prevention Act, 1956, a “minor” is
anyone who has reached 16 years of age.
- According to the sections 82 and 83 of the Indian Penal Code, a child
below the age of 7 can't be guilty of an offence. It also goes on to state
that despite being 12 years of age, a child cannot be considered to have an
understanding of the consequences of his conduct.
What can be seen from the above definitions is the lack of uniformity in terms
of defining what a child is. This creates a lot of loopholes in the system which
encourages exploiters to take advantage of children and get away with it.
Presence Of Children In India
Children make up for a large portion of India's population, roughly 473
million, or 39% of the total population. Out of this figure, approximately 73%
of the children live in villages or rural areas of India and lack access to
basic fundamentals such as proper nutrition, education, healthcare, safety and
protection. This raises a big concern for their overall wellbeing.
Ways In Which Exploitation Occurs
The term exploitation can be referred to as an act of selfish utilisation of
someone or something for one's profit. Children are often the target of
exploitation because of their vulnerability at such a tender age. There are
multiple forms of abuse these children have to bear with.
- Child Labour- children are sent off to work as labourers despite being
physically inferior to the requirements of the task. This is usually caused by
- Child Abuse- children suffer various kinds of abuses such as physical,
emotional, sexual and neglect.
- Child Trafficking- children are recruited, transported, transferred, harboured or received for the purpose of exploitation. They are made to work as
domestic servants, child beggars, soldiers etc.
- Jeopardising Health- Children are not fed properly when they are young
which results in issues like malnourishment, increase in Infant Mortality Rate
Child Rights In India
India had adopted a National Policy of Children which has enabled them to commit
towards the reservation of children's rights. There are ways the government has
tried to take care of these children by introducing several laws with the help
of Directive Principles of State.
Policy. Some of these rights include:
- Right to free and compulsory elementary education for all children in
the 6-14-year age group (Article 21 A)
- Right to be protected from any hazardous employment till the age of 14
years (Article 24)
- Right to be protected from being abused and forced by economic necessity
to enter occupations unsuited to their age or strength (Article 39(e))
- Right to equal opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy
manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and guaranteed protection of
childhood and youth against exploitation and against moral and material
abandonment (Article 39 (f))
- Right to early childhood care and education to all children until they
complete the age of six years (Article 45)
These laws are framed so as to guarantee protection and proper development of
children occurs, but in India, it these laws have demonstrated to be inept.
There are a lot of issues that take place around these kids. They are made to
work at factories, shops and do not even receive proper pay. They are often sent
off as “goods” in exchange for cash. They become a victim of countless forms of
abuses such as sexual, physical and emotional.
Statement of Problem
These days, what grows too slowly is not India's economy but its children. When
a country gets richer, its children usually get taller. Indian kids remain
unhealthily short, even compared with their peers in poorer developing
countries. There are a lot of issues in India that surround children. Majority
of them are not often brought up and are easily suppressed. The problem that
arises is, people even to this day, do not consider the seriousness of child
rights' exploitation. The Indian society does not realize how wrong their acts
can be. The cases don't only prevail in rural areas but even in urban cities and
towns like New Delhi and
Mumbai, children can be seen working as labourers, servants and even used as
‘punching bags'. Apart from child labour and physical abuse, children are not
even sent to schools for education. It is totally bizarre to think that despite
the government making education free for those who cannot afford, a lot of these
parents believe that their kids do not and will not get anything out of school
What are they made to do instead? Resort to unethical ways to make
money for the family. Children are often seen as the breadwinner of a lot of
poor families, this kind of disturbing reality is supposed to raise a lot of
eyebrows in the society but, unfortunately, it does not.
Scope of the study
The data used in this research paper is collected through different and multiple
sources. Public health data system is still in its nascent stages in India and
the data recorded might (or might not) turn out to be as accurate as the reality
because comprehensive child data is sometimes not recorded. This paper expects
to feature the manners by which kids are being dealt with unjustifiably.
taking a look over at cases depicted in tables and figures, it enables us to
gather the conditions of child exploitation across several states of India. The
research will go into profundity taking a look at different ways in which
children's lives are put to risk to determine whether the government's existing
policies are effective or not. The paper additionally mentions some improvements
that can be made to the existing policies surrounding child exploitation.
The research paper has set out some objectives that it aims to accomplish. These
include finding out:
- what convinces parents to not look after their children and send them
away from their families?
- What improvements can be implemented to result in change for the
betterment of children?
The author wishes to set out the following hypothesis; child exploitation is
happening in India through various forms.
A report published by UNICEF (UNICEF, 2020) titled ‘Children and Adolescents in
Urban India' highlights the contrast between the children belonging to upper
class families and those belonging to lower class. There is a clear difference
in the number of children used for illegal activities belonging to unprivileged
families and those belonging to the privileged ones.
The study shows the
importance of nutrition and education in respect to the development of a child.
By not providing children with these basic necessities, one puts their child's
development at risk. These factors were used to highlight the differences
between rich and poor3 children. Families that belong to the upper and middle
class in India are more likely to support their children by providing them
Education is a key factor because it is what determines how the brain
of a child functions once he grows up. If proper education is not provided to
these kids, they will not be able to develop cognitive and social skills that
are required by employers. This will lead to unemployment or them seeking other
ways to earn money instead of the traditional conventional ways.5
problem highlighted by this publication is that a lot of the students despite
being admitted and enrolled in schools, show irregularities in terms of
attendance. This means that kids are not attending schools regularly, and are
only enrolled in for the sake of it. This leads to a gap that forms between
regular and irregular students and often times, the irregular ones fail to catch
up with the pace of the class, which only demotivates them to continue pursuing
As mentioned earlier, employers do not employ uneducated students and
college graduates and the only choice these uneducated children have is to form
a prolonged state of poverty for their family and future generation.
The research also highlights nutrition as an important factor that affects
exploitation of children. If the kids are not fed properly during the age group
of 0-5, they fail to develop physiologically and cognitively and it also hinders
their learning capabilities. Children fail to fight for themselves. By
exploiting children at a young age, they develop severe adversities towards
Malnutrition causes children to develop diseases such as anaemia,
which India is already globally infamous for along with the sub-Saharan African
countries. When children are malnourished, they become easier targets to
victimise. Physically and emotionally weak children are seen as weaker preys and
can be abused more often without expecting them to fight back for themselves.
The publication addresses several issues that lead to the exploitation of
children however it fails to cover certain important aspects that are very often
overlooked as reasons for the same. One of these reasons is the increase in
population of India. India being an overpopulated country with 1.3 billion
citizens, a lot of the families often end up having more children than they
actually want or need. This, when paired up with the rising poverty levels,
results in parents trafficking their children in exchange for money. In this
predicament, the children are of absolutely no fault but still have to suffer
because of their mere existence in this world.
Another reason that was overlooked by the UNICEF report was the existing caste
system. Although its prevalence is no longer seen in urban areas like Delhi,
casteism still is very much present in the rural areas of India. People believe
that the society can be divided into lower and higher castes. They believe that
children who are born in lower castes are not permitted to do basic human
activities like using urinals and latrines instead they are forced to defecate
in open lands. They are discouraged to pursue education and other forms of
activities simply because they come from a lower caste background. This once
again shows how children are arbitrarily restricted from exercising basic human
This research paper has opted for a non -doctrinal form of research. The data
and information collected is synthesized. It has followed non – empirical
methodology where all the facts and figures are as accurate and viable as the
Children, Their Rights & Exploitation
Section 1.4 of this research paper encompasses all of the essential rights that
every single child in India are entitled to exercise regardless of their caste,
sex, colour. Despite the presence of these rights there have been a plethora of
cases presented before the court of law showcasing injustice towards the
children. Millions of children in India are facing multi- dimensional problems
in several spheres of their lives. India is home to more than one billion people
of which forty-two percent are children and that constitute nineteen percent of
world's children population. Globalization and liberalization have sped up the
development pace but at the same time this section remains almost within
exclusion group. This research paper aims carry out impactful analysis of Child
Rights under spheres of Health, Education, Labour and Abuse.
Children and Health
India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Despite this, it has
shown a high mortality rate in terms of infants with the death of one in every 5
children in the world happening in India. India has surpassed its neighbouring
countries like Bangladesh and Nepal which are both poorer and have lesser
doctors. India is also the home to every 3rd malnourished and 2nd underweight
children born in the world. As mentioned earlier India ranks first on the list
of countries with maximum cases of anaemia. All of these numbers prove that the
health situation of India isn't anywhere close to being classified as
Child Survival Rate is indicative of the effectiveness of children's rights in
respect to their health and protection. However, before even considering the
survival of the baby after its born, they are put in danger while being in their
mother's womb. About one third of pregnant women in India are not given tetanus
vaccine which is an important defence against infections while giving birth. As
a result of this, there is an increase in IMR and a decrease in ISR, the
opposite of what the country needs to achieve. IMR has steadily declined in
India in last couple of years. What used to be 150 per 1000 live births, had
declined to 80 per 1000 successful births in 1990 and was now recently recorded
at 28.3 in 2019. This highlights how the right to life is being jeopardised.
Another Factor that is indicative of children's right to life and development is
nutrition. India has failed to achieve Millennium Development Goals in poverty
and nutrition because of its socio-economic and demographic constraints. India
has been bearing the weight of malnourishment for a long time. Research has
proven the importance of the right type of food towards the development of a
healthy individual. If nutrition is not provided properly it will result in
adversities like stunting, underweight, overweight and anaemia. Nearly 4 out of
10 children were victims of stunting in 2015-. Along with this there has also
been an increase in wasting; from an estimated 19.8% in 2005-16 to 21% in
2015-16. Major cities that are affected include urban areas like Delhi, Chennai,
Mumbai and Kolkata.
This increase is mainly due to water-borne diseases like diarrhoea. Reports show
that states like Bihar and Jharkhand have an increased rate of diarrhoea just
like Wasting rates, whereas states like Goa and Kerala report very low cases of
diarrhoea as well as wasting, stunting and underweight patients. Reports have
also shown that rate of diarrhoea is also directly proportional to IMR in India.
If there is a prevalence of diarrhoea in a state there is also an increase in
child mortality rate. States like Uttar Pradesh and Uttara Khand are clear
examples of the same.
Children, Education and Labour
The practise of child labour is widely prominent across India. In India there
are 5.7 million children that are being used as labourers and are being made to
work at a questionable age.17 Poverty is considered as an important reason for
forcing children from poor families to enter labour at an early age. They
believe that by sending children to work early they could pick up skill and
evolve as entrepreneurs in fields like weaving, diamond polishing etc. what
really happens as time takes its course.
What happens instead? In most cases children end up compromising on education
and fail to secure good jobs that require certain academic credentials.
Education undoubtedly plays an important role in the development of a child. It
enhances the capability of a child to express and exert themselves in various
field of activities. 8% of school going children are child labours.
The reason why most families send their kids to work as labours is because of
economic compulsion. They depend on their kids to earn money for the family and
run the house while they for some reason relax at home. While this may not be
true for every household, it remains the case for a lot of families especially
the ones living in rural areas since almost 3.3 million Indian children in the
7-14 age group, accounting 1.7 per cent of all children in this age group, were
in employment in 2012.
Education itself is being put at risk. The Right to Education Act 2009 states
that the government takes full responsibility for providing free and compulsory
education to every child out there between the ages of 6-14. More than 88 % of
all children ages 7-17 in India attend school. The school attendance rate drops
from 93.5 % among 7-14-year olds to 74.3% for 15-17-year olds.
attendance rate for children has fallen significantly by more than 6.5 % per
year for children over 14 years of age. In addition, only 12.8 per cent of
7-17year-old children in employment also attend school in India. What this
depicts is a clear picture of irregularity in a child's education. The
government has not made any clause or set up a minimum attendance record that
has to be maintained by the students, failure in doing so would result in
The link between education and child labour is simple. Due to the prominence of
poverty, income inequality, lack of credits, parental ignorance and the lack of
willingness to study have been turned out to be bottlenecks towards the
eradication of child labour. Children who are being used as labourers are not
only denied their right to education but this also results in exacerbation of
their mental and physical health.
States like Kerala and Tamil Nadu have
performed brilliantly in the years 2004-8 bringing down the total percentage of
child labour to 0.3% and 0.9% respectively. On the flip-side, states like Andhra
Pradesh and West Bengal have performed the worst with the child labour rate
rising up to 4.1% and 3.3% respectively. Himachal Pradesh, despite having an
excellent gross enrolment ratio of children at 108.9, fails to get a high score
on Child Development Index because of its high percentage of child labourers.
Another study done one by International Labour Organisation shows that majority
of the children that do not attend school simply don't because they do not find
the education pattern interesting or worth their time. The other majority
believes that education is too costly and the same percentage of children are
also “required for work
What one can infer from this is, education itself
requires financial support despite being free for all the children between the
ages 6-14. To combat this financial problem, a lot of these kids go out and try
to find work. If they do get paid, they spend their money on other things
because education is not an important concern for them or their family.
The International Labour Organisation had launched IPEC in India to put an end
to the existing child labour system through community participation and social
mobilisation. UNICEF has also shown strong commitment to the elimination of
child labour by intervening in certain states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and
Andhra Pradesh. They stopped children from working at cotton production
factories, metalwork in Uttar Pradesh, and tea gardens in Assam.
It is with the
help of implementation of policies like National Child Labour Policy (1987), Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Yojna and these international bodies, India has made
substantial progress towards the SDG agenda of elimination of children below the
age of 15 years being used as labourers. This is corroborated by the decline in
the number of working children over the years (a fall recorded of over 2.6
million between 2001 and 2011) as seen in the table below.
Under the Indian Constitution, violence against children is violation of right
to live with dignity which is integral to right to life under Article 21.
Child abuse can be referred to as harm, failure, negligence done to a child by
another person; adult or child which causes damage to the victim. The UN defines
violence against children in line with article of the CRC: “all forms of
physical or mental violence, injury and abuse, neglect or negligent treatment,
maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse.” Child abuse is prominent
throughout India in all forms, sexual, marriage, physical and emotional.
Child abuse is said to have critically damage their survival rate. It affects
their dignity, overall development and their ability to socialise. The survivors
are often left with a trauma at a very early age. Their exploitation has become
a real prominent predicament occurring between familiar channels such as
relatives and caretakers. Regardless of its forms, child abuse has been a global
issue and is highly underestimated and overlooked. It is very much prevalent in
India as well and it may include relational challenges such as increased risk
for domestic violence and violent behaviour.
When a child is forced to engage in a sexual activity that is beyond their level
of understanding and approval, it is regarded as sexual abuse. In most cases,
children are not even primarily informed of the sexual activity and are
unprepared for it.
Forms of Sexual Abuse- There are 2 forms, contact and non- contact. Contact type
includes kissing or holding in a sexual manner, forcing to touch genital areas,
vaginal or anal intercourse, sexual exploitation, incest and rape. Non- contact
includes obscene remarks, virtual sex, online solicitation, exposed to
pornography, sexually intrusive comments and voyeurism
Signs- There are also multiple signs that can be used to tell if the child is a
victim of sexual abuse. The child might show interest in sexual activities that
is inappropriate to their age. They might display seductive and unusual
behaviour. The child may also have trouble moving, sitting, standing or have
injury sustained in their genital area; these are physical signs.
The Government of India had passed the ‘The Protection of Children from Sexual
Offences(POSCO)' law in 2012. This act criminalises acts such as rape and
harassment involving a child below the age of 18 years and had led to the
expedition of trials in special courts. In spite of these laws, child sexual
abuse seems to be happening at an increasing rate. A study done by Ministry of
Women and Child Development (MoWCD) in regards to the extent and nature of
child abuse in India. The study reported that out of 12,447 children
interviewed, more than 50% had reported experiences of sexual assault and
abuse. These numbers speak to the significance of the problem.
77% of the children who face abuse are victims of rape or sexual harassment.
Another content analysis done by The Times of India in 2018-19, showed that main
perpetrators of rape and harassment are neighbours, 22%, friends, 17%, domestic
helpers, 14%, teachers, 7%, own close relatives, 7% and religious practitioners,
3%. What this shows
is most of the times the crimes committed are done by someone known to the
victim. Incidents usually take place in their own homes and in some cases the
victims are even for prolonged periods of time. Children are unable to speak up
about these types of crimes because they they're often uneducated and confused
about what to do. In a lot of the case studies analysed by experts, it showed
that the people around the rape victims only found after the victims were
The reason why such crimes are committed is because of harassment and stalking
prior to the actual happening of the event. The perpetrators turn out to be drug
and/ or alcohol addicts, they hold grudges against the victims, some do it for
religious reasons, random/ money.
Research indicated that girls are more prone to sexual abuse, rape and
harassment than boys.29 Physical and mental disabilities were also seen in a lot
of these victims such as deafness, mental trauma, and blindness.
Sexual abuse of children in India is a huge concern among parents and there is
no simple answer to it. Though the issue persists worldwide, India's culture
which traditionally keeps women below men, makes talk of private matters such as
such unallowable, and a corrupt and weak legal system when it comes to rape and
sexual abuse as can be seen from the figures below, only adds to the issue
surrounding indecency towards children.
In India, every second child is reported to be facing emotional abuse. Emotional
abuse leads to some serious behavioural, cognitive, emotional or mental trauma.
This can include parents/caretakers using extreme and/or bizarre forms of
punishment, such as confinement in a closet or dark room or being tied to a
chair for long periods or threatening or terrorizing a child. Less severe acts,
but no less damaging, are belittling or rejecting treatment, using derogatory
terms to describe the child, habitual tendency to blame the child or make
him/her a scapegoat.
Some indicators of emotional abuse include speech disorders, lag in physical
development and failure-to-thrive syndrome. Some of the victims have even led
their lives to suicide.
The causes for emotional abuse include poverty, improper parental control and
non cordial relations within the families, maltreatment imposed on parents in
their childhood and then reiterating the same towards their own children. A
significant proportion of abusing parents were themselves abused as children.
Physical abuse is often used as a means of getting what a perpetrator desires
from a child. This results in injuries such as welts, bruises, or burns.
Injuries that are in the shape of an object (belt buckle, electric cord, etc.).
It can be defined a situation in which a child suffers, or is likely to suffer,
significant harm from an injury inflicted by the child's parent or caretaker.
Physical abuse is more prominent among working children than children who
normally resides with their parents. If a child labourer fails in carrying out
the tasks set by the employer, as a result of this, it might result in the
employer beating the child. abrasion etc.
Studies have revealed that mothers abuse children physically more than their
fathers. In some of the cases physical abuse is used to alter a child's
behaviour and to also establish an authoritative, dominant role. Child
precipitated violence is one in which the victims of violence contribute to
their own victimization either thorough action defined as deviant by the
aggressor parent or through provoking their antagonism.
Many social scientists have given different causes of physical abuse. Some
consider the psycho-pathology of the individual perpetrators as the primary
causes factor, other view the psycho social pathology of family interaction as
the main cause, and still others put major emphasis on situations of acute
stress. It is safe to acknowledge that although the role an individual's
personality plays is important, it is usually the overall stressful family
environment that causes children to be beaten up physically at home.
On the basis of the MWCD (2007) collected data on selected states of the
country, we can form a “Child Abuse Index
” by simply ranking the states on the
basis of number of cases reported for each abuse. By doing this we are able to
circle out the worst performing states and the good performing states
Assam is the worst performing state in respect to child abuse, closely followed
by Bihar, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. Sexual abuse is most prominently present in
Assam, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh. Child abuse affects their mental and physical
well-being, the states with less child abuse reports can be referred to as more
developed states than its counter-part. One of the reasons why child abuse in so
common in these states is because of poverty, these states employ children as a
form of cheap labours.
West Bengal, Rajasthan, Kerala are well performing states. All these states are
strong in education sector, which automatically results in a decline in terms of
lack of self-awareness. The government should take these states as an example
and construct a plan aiming towards a successful and total eradication of child
abuse from the country.
Despite each governmental policy regarding minorities in society is implemented
surrounding children through various acts and amendments, their condition has
not changed a lot over time. Children are the most weak segment of the society
and yet their protection has not been guaranteed despite so many years of
independence in India.
Many governments came and went, introducing and concocted
different approach changes and laws for changing the states of youngsters and
improving their ways of life. However misuse, harassment, labour and abandonment
remain the ground truth of youngsters across India. This research paper has set
out some policy recommendations and improvements that might be considered and if
followed and properly implemented, could potentially result in a faster decline
in exploitation of children's rights.
Improvements for Children's Health (8.1)
Early childhood deprivation of food and nourishment becomes an impediment to
their health and longevity in general.
Fighting water-borne diseases- This research paper has shown that reducing
issues like stunting and wasting in young children will also result in reduction
of their mortality rate. To reduce malnutrition the government needs to combat
diseases like diarrhoea which is linked to a lot of these problems. States like
Goa and Kerala have lesser presence of diarrhoea child patients as well as less
child mortality cases.
Diarrhoea can be caused from the use of contaminated
water and being in a dirty environment. It can also be minimised by practising
safe hygiene by mothers especially during the time of breastfeeding. Many of the
poor illiterate families are unaware of the measures that need to be adopted in
cases of chronic diarrhoea and fall victim to acute and chronic malnutrition.
There needs to be a thorough plan which aims on carrying out nutritional
awareness programs and along with this the government should set up some kind of
monitoring scheme that makes sure that these practises are being followed
properly and seriously.
The people need to know about the adverse effects of
being in an unhealthy environment and not consuming nutritious food.
Eradication of poverty- The government of India needs to fight poverty because
it is what restricts majority of the ml families from living a healthy life. If
there is no poverty, there will be lesser instances of unhygienic breastfeeding,
consuming food in dirty infested environments. To remove poverty the government
can take multiple steps in various directions. By creating more job
opportunities for the adults to take up, there will be less of unemployment and
this would also lower the chances of parents sending their kids away for money
The government can set up various vocational workshops that focus on
practical job-oriented training for uneducated individuals this will also make
them more qualified for the positions they are interested in. In addition to
this, India needs to establish better healthcare infrastructures that are ready
to serve children in need.
Improvements for Child Labours and Health (8.2)
Despite the improving figures a mere decline of 2.7% in the last decade would
take over a century to completely eradicate child labour entirely. There are
different changes that can be made that bring about improved circumstances for
Changes in the existing education system- According to PLFS there are still 1.2
million children who are employed and a major reason for this could be linked
with the education system. After the passing of New Education Policy in 2020, it
can be said that the number of students ‘who are not enrolled in school and are
working' will decline because this policy aims on a holistic development of
They will be enrolled at a very early age of 3 which means the kids
will learn to play in the right environment under the supervision of teachers.
As seen by the pie chart mentioned in 8.2.1, the majority of the children are
not enrolled in school because they simply do not find studies interesting and
the NEP could change this.
Reinforcement of laws against child labourers in hazardous occupations- More
than 4% of children under the age of 14 years are employed in all sorts of
hazardous industries. In spite of the existence of Indian laws prohibiting
employment of children under the age of 14. in occupations that may be deemed as
hazardous, these laws need some serious reinforcement because even though there
has been a decline in the number of working children over time, the share of
children working in various hazardous industries has not yet seen a drop. Laws
written on paper often turn out to be precarious and are not enough, the
government needs to start prosecuting abusive employers and rehabilitate the
Protection to children working in non-hazardous environment- The Indian
Constitution, as a Fundamental Right under Article 24, prohibits child labour in
hazardous industries but not in non-hazardous industries. This accounts for 60%
of the total child labourers. This huge portion of workers are employed mostly
outside labour legislations. The reason why these children are exploited and
hired as workers by these companies is because usually, kids of this age fear
punishment. The government needs to set up specific policy framework for these
children so they are not violated of their rights and their overall condition in
these nonhazardous companies is looked after.
Improvements for Child Abuse (8.3)
Child-abuse is yet rampant in India and the existent laws and rights are not
adequate to safe guard the interests of the child. A substantial volume of child
abuse remains behind the closet as most of the victim children don't report
against it. However, even the reported abuse- cases are not penalized due to
non-existent of specific provisions of Indian Penal Code. For instance, there
are no specific provisions of law for dealing with sexual harassment of male
children. With that being said, there are some suggestions that can be
implemented by the system in order to ensure a better future for the safety of
Mixed approach- Despite the government taking steps towards prevention of crime
against children, many other sectors can be involved to ensure a mixed approach.
By involving NGOs and other bodies such as stakeholder groups, anti-human
trafficking units, the government will get a lot of help in strengthening the
response mechanism towards These crimes. NGOs working towards rural development
should focus on such poor families that are willy-nilly-forced to send their
children to earn. However, it is important that this policy is not misused as a
means of transferring responsibility from one sector to another. NGOs and other
bodies can be partners, not substitutes, in the government's efforts.
Public awareness- There is need to raise public sensitivity and awareness about
these problems that confront us in our work. The problem of child prostitution
has to be worked out not merely through rehabilitation, but with greater
emphasis on prevention. There are backward villages and districts that provide
the base for the traffickers. The children need to be oriented about all forms
of abuse, violence and exploitation, this will result in building up of their
confidence to report such incidences to their families or the respective
In addition to this, the children also need to be made aware about
the legal consequences for the offenders in case they commit such crimes, these
sensitive topics can be touched upon in the form of documentaries and other
interactive forms of approach such as plays. It's not just the children that
need to be educated though, so therefore there needs to be effective media
campaigns and promotions in order to generate awareness among the general
Reinforcement of POSCO Act, 2012- The Protection of Children from Sexual
Offences Act has been around ever since 2012 however it has lacked an effective
implementation, which includes establishment of special courts in all districts
to ensure speedy delivery of trials. Imparting periodic training to all
stakeholders such as police officers, judicial bodies and medical authorities on
how to react during situations involving children and their families during
investigations and prosecution.
The POSCO Act mentions important directives such
as the police offers should not be in uniform when dealing with children, not
inviting the child to the police station to register or report a complaint of
harassment but there is no assurance over how effectively these directives are
being carried out.
It is often said that children are the future of a country. If there is a
constant exacerbation in children's development, the country's future position
is put in a state of jeopardy. Exploitation of children's rights in India is
very common, a lot of the times people do not even realise they're infringing
with the law. To combat this, we need to ensure that there is a change in the
severity of the punishments. Only the people of this country can successfully
bring about change and lead India with an example.
We must start from the very
beginning, by ensuring there is a decline in IMR and then make sure the
development of the child is proper, their right to education is not compromised.
Once they are enrolled in school, the parents need to make sure their attendance
is regular and they are not indulging in any frivolous activities. During their
entire childhood the government needs to monitor the development of the child is
proper, that he or she is not mistreated, abused, or treated unfairly. If the
present generation is not looked after how are they expected to take care of the
content/uploads/2013/06/20130322_protect_our_future_summary_document_april_2013.pdf https://www.humanium.org/en/india/#:~:text=Status%20of%20Children's%20Rights,of%200 %20to%206%20years.
- https://www.terredeshommes.org/causes/child-exploitation/ https://nhrc.nic.in/sites/default/files/UNCRC_2020.pdf
- https://www.unicef.org/india/media/4421/file/Children%20and%20Adolescents%20in%20Ur ban%20India%20.pdf
india/#:~:text=Infant%20mortality%20rate%20in%20India%202019&text=In%202019%2C %20the%20infant%20mortality,significant%20decrease%20from%20previous%20years.&te xt=The%20infant%20mortality%20rate%20is,age%20per%201%2C000%20live%20births.