Child Pregnancies in Haryana- Key facts
Recent statistics on Haryana have been pointing towards rising graph of sexual offences against minor girls in the State.
- Statistics also points towards grossly inadequate steps taken by the government to deal with this situation.
- There is a surge in number of cases reported under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
- Betrayal of the vulnerability of children to sexual abuse, specifically by men they trust, has led to the child pregnancies in Haryana.
- In the year 2020, overall, 54 such cases reported under the Act. While in first five months of 2021, already 37 pregnancies have been witnessed.
- Out of 37 cases, pregnancy among 21 cases could be terminated. This highlights the loopholes in efforts taken by state to curb this social evil.
- Most of the abortions could not take place because they were reported after the permitted 24 weeks. Apart from that, criminal delays by child welfare committees or medical boards also led to the missing of deadline.
What steps should be taken to curb this evil?
- Government should ramp up publicity campaigns to sensitise both children and adults towards this heinous crime.
- Girls’ education about good and bad touch in homes and schools should be carried in conjunction with boys being raised with morals imbued with sensitivity towards women’s agency.
- Stigma of rape should be stick to the violator rather than to the victim.
- More courts should be set up, like Ambala court that was set up in 2020, to exclusively deal with child abuse cases.
This gender-neutral act was enacted in 2012. The act recognises that boys can also be victims of sexual violence. According to the act, a child can be defined as someone under the age of 18. It increased the scope of reporting sexual crimes against children and expanded the definition of sexual assault to include non-penetrative sexual assault and aggravated penetrative sexual assault.