FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Save our children
Posted:Sep 11, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
Sometime last year, a 12-year-old girl student reported contemplating suicide. She alleged her alcoholic father of touching her inappropriately and made her watch porn on his cell phone.
 
With a helpless mother and younger sister to take care of, she couldn’t risk taking her own life. She sought help and a case of sexual harassment was filed against her father. He was detained for four months in police custody. However, the court acquitted him because it did not find evidence of sexual harassment and actual penetration.
 
We are ashamed of the judiciary. It rendered a judgment, not justice. A recent national study on violence against children reported that the definition of violence among participants was strongly guided by a strong sense of injustice.
 
Sexual touching, according to the study is the most common violence reported by boys and girls. They experience it both at home and school. Exposing children to digital pornography is a form of sexual violence. However, the court, in its pursuit to be proven beyond reasonable doubt , appeared to have overlooked how entrenched the phenomenon of sexual violence against children is in the society. This confirms the finding of another study, which reported that judges, registrars, bench clerks, police personnel and law enforcement agencies are ignorant of child protection laws. What do we make of the court’s judgment in this case? Injustice or violence or both?
 
According to the study, more than one in 10 children between 13-17 years reported experiencing at least one incident of sexual violence in their lifetime. More than six out of 10 children experienced at least one incident of physical violence. The findings show that our children are victims of physical, sexual, emotional and structural violence.
 
These cases and findings are chilling reminders that our children are not safe , even at home. It should alarm the society, that’s becoming complacent and indifferent by the day and authorities that proclaim of having the mandate to protect children to spring into action.
 
Bhutan has signed and ratified nine conventions that protect children. Yet our actions do not appear to do justice, not to the child at least. In an effort to discipline, children are meted with corporal punishment, which remains banned on paper, both at home and in schools. We give electronic devices and cell phones to distract and amuse children not realising the kind of content we are exposing them to. Everyone with a cell phone is aware that there are groups online where adults exchange pornographic materials. We see nothing being done about it. With our tolerance to such acts justified as cultural norms and promiscuity, we now risk failing our children.
 
How and where did we go so wrong that a society, which pursues happiness for its people is unable to protect its most vulnerable, the children? What then is the country’s purpose of development? If the poverty we see is accepted as an undesired outcome, we must accept that the deprivation of basic needs makes children vulnerable to violence.
 
We have come so far but the plight of our children tells us that we have not done much. The two children and their mother do not live with the father anymore. They are taken care of but their vulnerability tells us that a society that doesn’t respect and value its children has not progressed.
 
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Relations between India and Peru  are united by El Niño and the monsoon yet separated by vast distances across oceans.  Jorge Castaneda, Ambassador of Peru to India, talks to INDIA REVIEW & ANALYSIS exclusively about what is bringing the two geographically-apart countries closer.
 
read-more
The United Nations General Assembly rallied around world court Judge Dalveer Bhandari of India on Monday in his bid for reelection, defying the Security Council where permanent members and their allies put up a fight to protect one of their own, Britain's Christopher Greenwood.
 
read-more
The internet services are often being shut down in Kashmir which puts the people through ordeal. In these times when lives have become dependent on the internet, snapping the service only results into throwing the developmental process at standstill. Modern businesses are increasingly reliant on the uninterrupted internet services.
 
read-more
The participating governments at this year’s Asean summit had one underlying interest in mind: to determine the way United States President Donald Trump handles China.
 
read-more
This week a major United Nations gathering on climate change gets underway in Bonn, Germany.
 
read-more

In its own coded and diplomatic style, the World Bank has warned that the government’s growth story is now at risk given the scale of the macroeconomic imbalances growing within it.

 
read-more
Column-image

Title: The People Next Door -The Curious History of India-Pakistan Relations; Author: T.C.A. Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins ; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 699

 
Column-image

Could the North Korean nuclear issue which is giving the world an anxious time due to presence of hotheads on each side, the invasion of Iraq and its toxic fallout, and above all, the arms race in the teeming but impoverished South Asian subcon...

 
Column-image

Title: A Bonsai Tree; Author: Narendra Luther; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 227 Many books have been written on India's partition but here is a firsthand account of the horror by a migrant from what is now Pakistan, who ...

 
Column-image

As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.