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Four-fold increase in number of rapes against children between 1994 and 2016: Report

Social Issues

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

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."

"We call upon the government to develop a strong and robust system to meet the child rights obligations of the country to ensure that every child has the right to survival, development, protection and participation," they said.

The report also touched upon various aspects of child welfare that includes their health and education.

According to the report, though progress has been noted in reducing malnutrition, the rate of reduction, however, is not as expected. In India, NFHS-4 data (2015-16) states that 38.4 per cent children are still stunted, which is disconcerting, it said.

Significant progress has been made in a number of areas, including universal enrolment in primary education as literacy rate among 7-14 years children has gone up from 64 per cent (Census 1991) to 88 per cent (Census 2011), the report said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Wed, July 03 2019. 16:05 IST