One child gets raped in every 76 minutes in India. One of the highest charge-sheet rates has been registered for cases of buying of minor girls for prostitution followed by rape. (Source: National Crime Records Bureau Data, 2012).
While we have a statistic for the reported cases of rape against children, it is widely accepted that there are many cases that go unreported every year. If we look past rape, the number of children being sexually assaulted, abused and harassed is potentially a huge number. Many children are groomed for sexual exploitation, sold and trafficked. However it is not easy to enumerate the number of children being threatened, tricked and forced into sexual activities every day in India.
In 2012, the much-awaited Prevention of Children against Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) came into force. The law is a result of continuous lobbying and advocacy for more than decade from the child rights groups in India. While we now have a comprehensive law to protect children who are victims of sexual offences, the implementation of the law is an uphill task for individuals and organizations, especially in the absence of proper mechanisms for child protection.
The culture of silence around the issue, inability to deal with cases of sexual abuse, lack of awareness and understanding on legal and preventive aspects of child sexual exploitation, lack of adequate child protection mechanisms especially for unprivileged communities in the country are some of the many challenges face by the organizations and individuals working on the issue.
Aarambh is an initiative that attempts to tackle most of the issues mentioned above. This joint endeavor between the Mumbai based NGO Prerana and the ADM Capital Foundation is aimed at empowering citizens and Government to recognize, resist and report cases of Child Sexual Exploitation. Its focus is to address child sexual exploitation from multiple perspectives including community prevention through a strong NGO network, protection, legal intervention for victims, and advocacy. The aim is to demonstrate a few best practices in child protection and successfully implement the POCSO Act.
Join the movement by connecting with Aarambh on Facebook:
To know more visit: http://preranaantitrafficking.org/aarambh/.