Target: Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India
Goal: Criminalize all forms of child sexual abuse
India’s rape crisis is far from resolved.
The recent rape of a six-year-old girl at her school in Bangalore has brought attention, once more, to the rampant sexual abuse of children in the country. Despite the drafting and notarizing of the “Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Bill” in 2012, the bill has yet to be implemented. Child abuse is still prosecuted under the Indian Penal Code, which many deem insufficient protection. Under the new bill, all forms of child sexual abuse are specific criminal offenses.
Similarly, two girls from a marginalized community in Badaun, a northern Indian village, were found hanging from a tree in May. They had been gang-raped and murdered.
In the same month, children at a shelter from Karjat, a poverty-stricken town in western India, reported that they had been brutally raped, forced to watch reenacted scenes from pornographic films, and made to eat their own feces. A year prior, a five-year-old child was abducted, raped, and tortured for two days by her Delhi neighbors.
And these are just the publicized accounts that merited protest.
In addition to criminalizing all child sexual abuse, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act also establishes important and clear guidelines for the police and court system to deal with victims and creates special courts to handle these cases. Just from 2012 to 2013, reports of rape have increased by 45 percent. This signifies that citizens are feeling more comfortable reporting their abuse, but suggests that much of child sexual abuse is still unreported. In many cases, abuse of this nature remains overlooked, as institutional barriers make reporting difficult. Ill-treatment and social stigma in government or community responses also lead to unreported cases. Demand that the prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, urge the final passage of the bill that could protect millions of children and make offenders accountable.
Dear President Narendra Modi and Parliament of India,
The inhumane treatment and sexual abuse of children in India is still rampant: we urge you to immediately implement the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act to guard Indian youth from sexual abuse. The bill has been notarized, yet still remains in parliament while thousands of children are abused and their offenders escape proper accountability.
Children’s safety and health should be a primary governmental concern, and a more effective system to monitor all government and private children’s institutions should be actualized. Children should not be victims of sexual abuse in their schools, governmental institutions, or homes. We strongly urge you to make a lasting impact by putting the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act into action.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Nilroy via Wikimedia Commons