Skip to main content

Poor conviction rate in child sex abuse: Top NGO to map targeted drive for 5000 cases

By Our Representative 

The Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF) is all set to launch the Justice For Every Child campaign, in which it has decided to intervene in 5,000 “strategic” Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act cases in 100 Fast Track Special Courts (FTSC) at the district level, regretting that at 88.8% pendency as of today, if no new cases are added after 2019, “it will take 8.2 years to dispose of current POCSO cases in courts.”
Pointing out that “at 34.9%, the conviction rate for cases is abysmally low”, a KSFC note, prepared on the proposed campaign, says, 68% applications are pending as of March 2020 under the Victims Compensation Scheme; 1.2 million girls are in ‘child prostitution’, yet in 2019, only 529 cases were registered; and a mere 11% of Nirbhaya Fund (Rs 252 crore of Rs. 2,264 crore) was released to States and Union territories for utilization in 2019.
Stating the problem has been exacerbated by the fact that just 0.3 psychiatrists, 0.7 psychologists and 0.07 social workers are available for every 100,000 citizens in India, the note gives the example of one Janvi who "has been fighting for justice for the last six years ever since she was raped she was 11 years of age.
Raped by her neighbour, despite all friends and relatives asking them to ‘move on’, her mother decided to file an FIR and thus began their fight for justice. “Janvi often wakes up at night in cold sweats recalling the defence lawyer questioning her on the horrible details of her assault for over four hours during the rigorous interrogation”, the note says.
“At one point, as she shook with anger, trying to hold back her tears, the defence lawyer kept prodding her, asking her if she had an affair with her neighbour. She could not believe the words coming out of his mouth, but was too shaken to say anything more than the fact that he had raped her”, the asserts.
“When the judge granted the rapist bail, her neighbour smiled at Janvi. After the hearing, he came up to her mother and said that nothing could touch him and no one would marry Janvi because she had disgraced her family”, the note says.
“Hearings after hearings have passed this way, with repeated adjournments. Every time her mother has to leave her daily wage job and spend a hefty amount to get on the bus to reach court, the trauma rushes back”, it adds.
Campaign would be carried out after conducting national research on prevalence of child sexual abuse in 100 districts
“Someone said Janvi should get some compensation but they haven’t seen anything in six years. The first year of the trial was just spent understanding how the courts work and what the paperwork means. They have lost track of how many times their lawyer has changed, and are never confident about being represented fairly”, the note underlines.
It adds, “Life between hearings is spent trying to fight anxiety attacks and keeping up with her studies. The system has failed them. When her mother proposed they consider withdrawing the complaint, Janvi's blood was boiling. But she was helpless.”
Commenting on the case, Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi wonders, “Will a child who was raped when she was 11 years old attend court hearings when she turns 70? Every single minute matters, every single child matters, every single childhood matters.”
Pointing out that “justice is denied to the child victims of sexual abuse and rape due to the inadequacies of the justice delivery system”, the note says, “Delays in trial, an insensitive system, and the lack of a legal deterrence revictimizes the child and often leads to victims turning hostile.”
It adds, “The vulnerability of female victims is compounded by social ostracization, which often causes them to drop out of school and face gender-based discrimination. Public loses confidence in the justice delivery system and the impunity of perpetrators results in the rampant abuse of children to persist.”
Pointing out that the KSCF campaign plans to ensure “legal aid and mental health support to victims and families, while promoting the rehabilitation and education of survivors, especially girls”, the note says, “Evidence and learnings from this pilot will enable KSCF to scale up this solution across all 1,023 FTSCs for POCSO and rape.”
The campaign, the note says, would be carried out after conducting national research on prevalence of child sexual abuse in 100 districts on the implementation of the POCSO Act, increase conviction rates and timely disposal of cases, rehabilitation of survivors, and bridging knowledge and evidence gaps.
Even as intervening in 5,000 POCSO cases, the note says, there would be legal representation to child victims of sexual abuse and rape for access to justice; provision of healthcare services, particularly mental health support to child survivors and their families; rehabilitation and education, including timely compensation and skill enhancement of child survivors; promotion of gender equality through fair and equitable access to justice; and training and sensitization of judges, prosecutors and police on child friendly processes.
All this would be done, the note concludes, while giving leverage to technology to track progress by develop software to track case progress, generate insights on good practices, identify challenges in implementation, and identify cases requiring assistance.

Comments

TRENDING

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

How lead petitioner was rendered homeless when GM mustard matter came up in SC

By Rosamma Thomas*  On January 5, 2023, the Supreme Court stayed a December 20, 2022 direction of the Uttarakhand High Court to the Indian Railways and the district administration of Haldwani to use paramilitary forces to evict thousands of poor families occupying land that belonged to the railways.  Justice AS Oka remarked that it was not right to order the bringing in of paramilitary forces. The SC held that even those who had no rights, but were living there for years, needed to be rehabilitated. On December 21, 2022, just as she was getting ready to celebrate Christmas, researcher Aruna Rodrigues was abruptly evicted from her home in Mhow Cantonment, Madhya Pradesh – no eviction notice was served, and nearly 30 Indian Army soldiers bearing arms were part of the eviction process. What is noteworthy in this case is that the records establishing possession of the house date back to 1892 – the title deed with the name of Dr VP Cardoza, Rodrigues’ great grandfather, is dated November 14

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Tax buoyancy claims when less than 4% Indian dollar millionaires pay income tax

By Prasanna Mohanty  In FY18, the last year for which disaggregated income tax data is available, only 29,002 ITRs declared income above Rs 5 crore, while Credit Suisse said India had 7.25 lakh dollar millionaires (the wealth equivalent of Rs 8 crore and above) that year. Often enough, the Centre claims that demonetization in 2016 raised tax collections, improved tax efficiency, and expanded the tax base. Now RBI Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) member Ashima Goyal has also joined their ranks, attributing the “claims” of rising tax collections in the current fiscal year to “tax buoyancy” brought by the demonetisation . Do such claims have any basis in official records? The answer is unequivocal. The budget documents show the tax-to-GDP ratio (direct plus indirect tax) increased from 10.6% in FY16 (pre-demonetization) to 11.2% in FY17, remained there in FY18 (demonetization and GST fiscals), and then fell to 9.9% in FY20. In FY22, it improved to 10.8% and is estimated to drop to 10.7% in

Gandhian unease at Mahadev Desai book launch: Sabarmati Ashram may lose free space

By Rajiv Shah  A simmering apprehension has gripped the Gandhians who continue to be trustees of the Sabarmati Ashram: the “limited freedom” to express one’s views under the Modi dispensation still available at the place which Mahatma Gandhi made his home from 1917 to 1930 may soon be taken away. Also known as Harijan Ashram, a meeting held for introducing yet-to-be-released book, “Mahadev Desai: Mahatma Gandhi's Frontline Reporter”, saw speaker and after speaker point towards “narrowing space” in Gujarat for Gandhians (as also others) to express themselves. Penned by veteran journalist Nachiketa Desai, grandson of Mahadev Desai, while the book was planned to be released on January 1 and the meeting saw several prominent personalities, including actor-director Nandita Das, her scholar-mother Varsha Das, British House of Lords member Bhikhu Parekh, among others, speak glowingly about the effort put in for bringing out the book, exchanges between speakers suggested it should be rele

Why no information with Assam state agency about female rhino poaching for a year?

By Nava Thakuria   According to official claims, incidents of poaching related to rhinoceros in various forest reserves of Assam in northeast India have decreased drastically. Brutal laws against the poachers, strengthening of ground staff inside the protected forest areas and increasing public awareness in the fringe localities of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries across the State are the reasons cited for positively impacting the mission to save the one-horned rhinos. Officials records suggest, only two rhinos were poached in Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve since 1 January 2021 till date. The last incident took place probably in the last week of December 2021, as a decomposed carcass of a fully-grown (around 30 years old) female rhino was recovered inside the world-famous forest reserve next month. As the precious horn was missing, for which the gigantic animal was apparently hunted down, it could not be a natural death. Ironically, however, it was not confirmed when

Civil rights leaders allege corporate loot of resources, suppression of democratic rights

By Our Representative  Civil rights activists have alleged, quoting top intelligence officers as also multiple international forensic reports, that recent developments with regard to the Bhima Koregaon and the Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens (CAA-NRC) cases suggest, there was "no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and the Bhima Koregaon violence." Activists of the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) told a media event at the HKS Surjeet Bhawan, New Delhi, that, despite this, several political prisoners continue to be behind bars on being accused under the anti-terror the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Addressed by family members of the political prisoners, academics, as well as social activists, it was highlighted how cases were sought to be fabricated against progressive individuals, democratic activists and intellectuals, who spoke out against "corporate loot of Indian resources, suppression of basic democratic

Kerala natural rubber producers 'squeezed', attend to their plight: Govt of India told

By Rosamma Thomas   Babu Joseph, general secretary of the National Federation of Rubber Producers Societies (NFRPS) at a recent discussion at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, explained that it is high time the Union government paid greater heed to the troubles plaguing the rubber production sector in India – rubber is a strategic product, important for the military establishment and for industry, since natural rubber is still used in the manufacture of tyres for large vehicles and aeroplanes. Synthetic rubber is now quite widespread, but styrene, which is used in making synthetic rubber and plastics, and also butadiene, another major constituent of synthetic rubber, are both hazardous. Prolonged exposure to these even in recycled rubber can cause neurological damage. Kerala produces the bulk of India’s natural rubber. In 2019-20, Kerala’s share in the national production of rubber was over 74%. Over 20% of the gross cropped area in the state is under rubber cultivation, with total

Bangladesh 'rights violations': US softens stance, fears increased clout of China, India

By Tilottama Rani Charulata*  In December 2021, in addition to the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the United States imposed sanctions on seven former and current officers of the force, alleging serious human rights violations. Benazir Ahmed and former RAB-7 commander Miftah Uddin Ahmed were banned from entering the US. RAB as an institution was also canceled the support it was getting from the US and its allies. At the same time, those under the ban have been notified of confiscation of assets held abroad. The anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police, RAB is the elite force consisting of members of the Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh, Bangladesh Civil Service and Bangladesh Ansar, and has been criticized by rights groups for its use of extrajudicial killings and is accused of forced disappearances. The government of Bangladesh has been insisting about lifting the ban on RAB, but the US had till recen