Most of the time, we come across phrases like “Children are the gift of God”, “Children are future of a country”. However, most of the time, the children don’t feel so. “Violence against children is the most pervasive, dangerous, silent horror of our time,” says report lead Dr. Kirsty Nowlan, the Director of Public Policy for World Vision International. “It is shrouded in misunderstandings and misperceptions, and it’s holding back progress on this issue.” And, this is tragically true.
Now, the question arrives, what could be categorised as a crime against children? Anything that doesn’t make a child’s future better? Anything that takes childhood away from a child? Here, we will analyse the three basic types of crimes against children.
1. Books pencil and stuff – Don’t be surprised! Yes, we do injustice towards children when we snatch away their right to study. For example, in our nation the Republic of India, we took 59 long years to make the right to education a fundamental right. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 is about a child’s right to education. It ensures that all children get free education from class 1 to class 8. Like any law, there are some loopholes here too. Although its government’s duty to provide free education to all it doesn’t make any hard and fast rule for the parent to send their ward to school. Some of them can’t afford to send their child for pursuing free education. They had to drop their dreams of getting an education and start working as either their parents are unable to work or they along with their parents had to serve other people in order to have some food. Let us delve into the scenario of kids from war-torn countries. Presently for children of Syria are going through excruciating pain both physical and emotional. Men and woman who are indulging in these wars are obviously not concerned with the health of these children let alone education. There is no scarcity of war-torn countries in this world. But despite all these ruining factors, some children do not give up their dreams and dream are all they have. Solution to these issues are dangling in front of us but we are not concerned enough to grasp them.
2. Ripping of innocence- The worst part of child abuse(sexually) is most of the time they are unaware of what is going on and even if they are aware they are too helpless to speak up. One of the reasons is that this heinous act sometimes comes from what they call family. Children are supposed to safe; they are supposed to be protected, loved cared nurtured. Instead, they are used as used as an object of pleasure. A 2006–07 Idaho study of 430 cases found that 82% of juvenile sex offenders were known to the victims (acquaintances 46% or relatives 36%). In India, over 53% children are the victim of sexual abuse. The 2014 UNICEF study, Hidden in Plain Sight, suggests that around 120 million girls under the age of 20 (about 1 in 10) have been subjected to forced sexual at some point of their lives. Boys also report incidents of sexual violence, but the proportion is way behind the curve. Reports evince that these types of violence on children have cruel consequences for e.g.-stigma, difficulty in school, psychological distress and to make things worse even physical maladies.
Make your child aware of their biological features in words they would understand. Don’t make this a shameful event to discuss it with your child. If parents think they are protecting a child by keeping them away from these facts then they should think twice. Cause if your child knows how to at least define these horrific situations they would be helping themselves to a great extent. So, do not mark Sex education a matter of shame, make it a matter of awareness.
3. Selling off as an object- The International Labour Organization estimates that 1.2 million children are trafficked each year; some die, some end up in a brothel, some in forced labour, some in drug trades, child begging and even organ trade. Every year thousands of children especially girls are trafficked as maids in urban areas. These cases are most hard to detect as they take place inside a residential place. Another atrocious example is child begging. Children are abducted and forced to beg on streets. This takes a horrendous turn when to create more pity sometimes children are forcefully amputated or made blind. There are an estimated 300000 child beggars in India. Children are also used in drug trades in all regions of the world. For example, the I.L.O has recently come across a bitter truth, that is, the use of Afghan children in the heroin trade and child involvement in the drug trades of Brazil. Scholar Luke Dowdney specifically studied children in the drug trade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; he found that children involved in the drug trades are at significantly higher risk of occupying in violence.
To infer this grave issue let’s wrap it up in few words -Stop ruining the childhood. They are precious.
Sompurna is in love with good food and good books. She learns from her favorite characters. She learned to break stereotypes from one of her favorite characters Elizabeth Bennet from “Pride & Prejudice”. She learned the true meaning of love from Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’ Hara from “Gone with the Wind”. She is head over heels in love with writing because of these books. And, one day, she dreams of creating her own library.