ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Children Deserve Safety

Sexual abuse of children in schools has exposed the loopholes in child protection laws.

On 8 September 2017, a seven-year-old boy studying at the upscale Ryan International School in Gurugram was found murdered in the school toilet. The school bus conductor was subsequently arrested by the police. He had allegedly killed the child after he resisted the conductor’s attempt to sodomise him. The ongoing investigation revealed gross lapses in security measures in the school premises, lack of accountability of the school and teachers in the matter, and the state’s failure to uphold the constitutional provisions protecting the rights of a child.

The Gurugram case is the most recent in a series of incidents of child sexual abuse in urban schools that have come to light. Significant to the larger issue of child abuse is the fact that both girls and boys have been victims in such cases. This calls for addressing the systemic problems rather than the gendered policing of children. The National Crime Records Bureau data indicates that between 2014 and 2015, the number of crimes against children under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSOA) went up from 8,904 to 14,913. A 2007 study on child abuse had revealed that two out of every three children are physically abused; 53.22% children reported having faced one or more forms of sexual abuse; nearly 50% of the sample of over 12,000 children were sexually abused at their schools; out of the 69% of physically abused children in 13 sample states, 54.68% were boys; and most children did not report the matter to anyone. In July 2015, a United Nations Children’s Fund report also highlighted this state of crisis.

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Updated On : 15th Nov, 2017

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