Bhubaneswar: Odisha ranked fourth in list of worst rate of child sexual abuse in India while the country stands second in world in the same category.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, Odisha secures fourth position in list of worst rate and crime numbers under POCSO with 6.8 per 1 lakh child population.
A total of 10,854 cases of child rapes under section 376 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) were registered in the country during 2015, out of which Odisha ranked third with 1,052 cases.
India has the world’s second largest number of sexually abused children. Total 2,562 cases were registered as crime against children during 2015, the NCRB report said.
The disturbing picture of India and Odisha was revealed during World Vision India programme attended by Women & Child Development Minister Prafulla Samal on Saturday.
Launching the World Vision India campaign titled “It takes Every Indian to End Child Sexual Abuse” that aims to end child sexual abuse and exploitation in Odisha, Samal said, “We should join hands to end child sexual abuse and exploitation for the wellbeing of children. It is our moral responsibility to educate our children on good and bad touch. There is a need to spread awareness on POCSO so that we strengthen child sexual abuse case reporting mechanisms.”
To address the issue and to break the silence around child abuse and exploitation World Vision India has created a holistic campaign that is expected to impact 10 million children (0 – 18 years).
“Violence against children is a serious violation of their rights. World Vision India’s campaign aims to make a significant contribution towards ending this abominable practice affecting our children today,” said Mikhael Pradhan, Head-Advocacy, World Vision India.
“We aim to create a safer and more caring environment for India’s children. We believe that a world without violence against children is possible,” he said.
The campaign will encourage the public to address values and attitudes, which condone sexual abuse and exploitation of children.
World Vision India will also train parents on child protection, parenting and care at household level and within the community, facilitate school safety program, conduct comprehensive school safety measures for children, establish child protection policies and improve complaint mechanisms in schools. Sexual harassment awareness sessions will also be conducted at the anganwadi centres for adolescent girls.
The campaign will also focus on strengthening existing child protection programs through multi-stakeholder engagement efforts that will include working with the Integrated Child Protection Scheme and child protection units to strengthen the reporting, referral mechanisms and support programs for child protection incidents, organizing inter-agency child protection review to ensure co-operation and accountability, sensitize and train police, teachers, doctors, Auxiliary nurse midwife, lawyers, etc. to be sensitive with children and their families when faced with a case.
Additionally, it will work to strengthen coalitions of community, faith-based and civil society organizations to advocate for the protection of children and improve referral systems.