Originally published on August 4, 2014, at ForceChange.com
Target: Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India
Goal: Stop the rampant child sexual abuse and rape that is taking place in India
In the midst of India’s horrendous rape crisis, sexual abuse against children is rapidly spreading throughout the country. Although India’s government wrote into law the 2012 Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, local authorities have been extremely lax in enforcing its provisions. Preferring to ignore the issue, the authorities have exposed these children to increasing acts of rape, torture, and murder.
Recently, an Indian teacher was arrested for raping a 6-year-old student. The school had failed to verify a background check on the accused teacher, who had been fired from another school for inappropriately touching his female students. The school’s chairman was arrested for attempting to destroy evidence, while two of the police officers who mocked the victim’s parents were transferred to another district.
In 2013, 12,363 cases of child rape were reported in India. Many survivors of child sexual abuse recount being kidnapped, tortured, and raped by people within their community. After reporting the crime to the police, the children are often subjected to further humiliation and traumatic medical procedures.
Actions must be taken to protect these children from these reprehensible crimes. State governments need to implement guidelines for schools regarding background checks for sexual offenders. Harsher sentences should be handed down to convicted perpetrators and anyone guilty of covering up child sexual abuse. At the same time, law enforcement requires proper training for handling these cases and the treatment of child rape victims.
By signing the petition below you will help urge the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, to reduce child sexual abuse by implementing new policies and enforcing the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
Dear Prime Minister Narendra Modi,
The children of your country need your protection. Escalating reports of child rape and sexual abuse have exposed your government’s inability to enforce the 2012 Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. New measures must be taken to ensure the number of child rape victims does not continue to increase with each passing year.
Lax state officials, school administrators, and police departments are partially responsible for allowing child sexual abuse to flourish in India. By ignoring or covering up the problem, their complicity appears to condone the actions of child rapists. The attackers need to be stopped, not encouraged.
By enforcing the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, you can reduce the children’s exposure to potential rapists. Background checks for teachers, coaches, and anyone employed to work with children seems like a basic solution. But if no one enforces the background checks, then the children are once again placed in danger. Government officials found in dereliction of duty or guilty of covering up child rape require harsher sentences as a deterrent to further crimes.
India’s children need your help. Please don’t ignore them.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: PlaneMad via Wikimedia Commons