The absolute number of reported rapes against children has gone up by five times in the last two decades, according to a report released by the alliance of child rights Joining Forces for Children India on Wednesday.
The report ‘Child Rights in India – An Unfinished Agenda’ states that while India has made great strides on child mortality front, child sex ratio and sexual violence against children remains a concern. Citing National Bureau of Crime records, it states that the absolute number of reported rapes against children has increased approximately five times between 1994 and 2016. The report while acknowledging that the reporting of crime against children has increased maintains that “experts and communities believe that incidents of violence, particularly on younger children, have also gone up”.
The report states that child sex ratio has declined from 927(Census 2001) to 919 (Census 2011), and continues to decline in many states of India. It reads, “Decreasing sex ratio, and increase in incidents of rape among girls are the two indicators that demonstrate the increased vulnerability of girls. In all the states, girls reported that their mobility is severely compromised due to safety and security reasons and this does not affect boys to the same extent.”
Child mortality, the report points out, is one of the areas where India, which is yet to achieve any of the SDG targets, has demonstrated steady progress and intention to achieve the targets. It adds that India has for the first time in history, reached the current global average of under-five mortality (39 per 1000 live births). Infant Mortality Rates have also come down from 79 in 1992-93 (NFHS-1) – to 41 in 2015-16 (NFHS-4), it adds. It outlines that significant progress has been made also in universal enrolment in primary education with literacy rate among 7-14 years children showing a decadal improvement from 64 per cent to 88 per cent by 2011.