Indian Government Study of Child Abuse Is Groundbreaking
Posted by Barry Pittard on April 24, 2007
Recent blogs at: https://barrypittard.wordpress.com have drawn attention to the (for India) groundbreaking study of child abuse (which this link downloads in .pdf format) recently released by the Government of India via its Department of Women and Child Development. See:
Having spent a number of years in India engaged in social work among the very poor, I do not know why the important Indian Organization PRAYAS (often simply Prayas) is not mentioned in the paragraphs below, because they were a major role-player in the study. For their opening page on the study, which has many and very valuable links, see here. PRAYAS works within charter and spirit of the UN Convention on the Rights Of the Child, 1989.
The International Save The Children Alliance states:
“For the first time, data on child abuse and neglect in India. A new report by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in India, (supported by Save the Children and UNICEF) released today, reveals the extent and magnitude of child abuse and neglect in India. This is one of the world’s largest empirical, in-country studies covering nearly 12,500 children and 4800 young adults in 13 States.
The Study looks at three different forms of child abuse – physical abuse, sexual abuse and emotional abuse and girl child neglect in families, schools, work places, on the street and institutions. The Study complements the UN Secretary General’s Study on Violence against Children, 2006.
The Study aims to develop a comprehensive understanding of child abuse, which will help formulate appropriate policies and programmes meant to effectively end child abuse in India.
Major findings of the Study:
– Boys, as compared to girls, are equally at risk of abuse.
– Persons in trust and authority are major abusers.
– 5-12 year old children are in the high risk category: across the forms of abuse, the percentage of abuse among them is the highest.
– 70% of the children have not reported abuse to anyone.
– Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and Delhi almost consistently report high rates of abuse in all forms as compared to other States.
– 2 out of every 3 children have been physically abused.
– Two out of every three school going children are victims of corporal punishment. Half of these incidents are in government run schools.
– More than half of the child respondents reported facing one or more forms of sexual abuse.
– Every second child reported facing emotional abuse. In more than 80% of the cases parents were the abusers”.
Let Us Not Unduly Target India
Note: Some commentors may find it all too easy to point a finger at India. No country must be let off the ‘hook’. In an shortly upcoming blog, we shall look at the incredible remissness of the Australian Government of John Howard, which grossly fails to support key initiatives by some of Australia’s most notable workers in childcare, including by a woman often regarded as a national treasure, Professor Freda Briggs, who is Foundation Dean of the De Lissa Institute of Early Childhood and Family Studies, and Professor of Childhood Development at the University of South Australia. In 2005, in the Queen’s Birthday Honors, she was awarded the Order of Australia (AO). She was named ‘Australian of the Year, 2007’. See Advocates For Survivors of Child Abuse (ASCA), here. The economic rationalists, however, bestow awards as an easy ‘out’, instead of addressing the real issues.
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