Editorial✍ Prelims cum Mains

Averting crimes against children

Heinous crimes on the rise:

  • NCRB data indicates that rape in India, especially against minors, is on the rise.
  • This menace has spread across the length and breadth of the country.
  • Despite many efforts by government, police, NGOs, CSOs, legal luminaries and others post the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder, such heinous crimes have surfaced repeatedly.

 

Institutional mechanisms in place:

  • Competent institutional structures and mechanisms are already in place, such as:
    • The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)
    • A trained police force
    • Schemes such as Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS)
    • Laws such as Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO)

Need optimal use:

  • With an aim to optimally utilise existing resources with the support of experienced CSOs while encouraging corporate contributors (CSR), we can ensure a safe environment for our children.
  • We need to make children and their communities aware of situations where they can fall prey to various crimes.

 

Rethink strategies:

  • It is high time for all stakeholders to rethink strategies which can lead to ‘no child sexual abuse’.
  • The focus must be on averting such crimes by immediately drawing time bound plans with adequate budget and skilled manpower.
  1. Data and analysis can be helpful:
  • Crime data now available:
    • The past few years have seen increased reporting of crimes against children.
    • Through NCRB and the special courts, data is now available that wasn’t readily available earlier.
    • Now we have access to information on types of crimes against children, places of crimes, profiles of the victim, profiles of the accused, etc.
  • Data analysis will be helpful:
    • An in-depth analysis of data on crimes against children will be useful for many purposes, including:
      • To make children and their communities aware of potential dangers
      • For creating targeted media campaigns
      • For designing educational materials that should be shared regularly with children and their communities

 

  1. Mass media campaigns need to be reoriented:
  • There are many mass media campaigns on prevention of crimes against children by various agencies.
  • But such campaigns are usually launched as and when some serious incidents are reported and they are for short durations.
  • Pulse Polio campaign can be an inspiration: The campaign for safety of children will do better if it is taken up on the lines of the Pulse Polio vaccine campaign (which had a great impact on eradication of polio).

 

  1. Learn from previous safety campaigns:
  • Child safety campaigns should not only be conducted throughout the year but should also be informed by the experience of previous campaigns and their effectiveness.
  • Hence it is critical for governments, NGOs and others to evaluate the output of their campaigns.

 

  1. Vulnerability mapping:
  • It will also be useful for police to conduct vulnerability location mapping with active participation from children and the NGOs working in those locations.

 

Measures to be taken:

  • Organisation of ‘prabhat pheries’ (morning campaigns) involving boys and girls from nearby schools along with local NGOs, police officials, anganwadi workers, and teachers;
  • Messaging through mobile Bal Suraksha vans with musical alerts and announcements;
  • Monitoring of local internet cafes – for example in El Salvador the metropolitan police are blocking child pornography sites in internet cafes;
  • Police bike patrolling or a transect walk by police especially in congested colonies;
  • Redeployment of police in conjunction with crime and criminal tracking and network system (CCTNS)

 

Conclusion:

  • We all want our children to be safe.
  • Using existing resources, policies and laws, we need to act smart to build safer and resilient communities which can negate any attempt to harm the future of this nation, our children.

 

Importance:

GS Paper II: Social Issues

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