(GIST OF YOJANA) Girl Child Protection
(GIST OF YOJANA) Girl Child Protection
Girl Child Protection
- Child protection is a human rights issue, and it comes under the purview of the legislative framework. In 1989, an international agreement, ‘The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child’ (UNCRC) was adopted, with 54 articles, that legally binds the governments of 196 countries to set out the civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights of every child.
- UNCRC proclaims that all children must be protected against kidnapping, violence, harmful work, sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking. On 11 December 1992, India ratified UNCRC, and it was a landmark encouragement for the Indian government to develop progressive legislation to safeguard child rights.
Crime against Girls:
- The National Crime Record Bureau reported that in the year 2019 about 33.2 per cent of the total crime (IPC + SLL) was committed against children. Among all heads of crime, the crime rate is highest under POCSO Act, with more than 95 per cent of child victims (sexual assault, sexual harassment, and pornography) were girls.
- The data indicate that 78 per cent of the total child victims of kidnapping and abduction were girls. In 2019, about 15649 cases were reported where minor girls were kidnapped and abducted to compel for marriage; 3117 cases for procurement of minor girls; 4977 cases of child rape, and 1113 children reported victims of human trafficking.
- The magnitude and intensity of crime against children are much higher than official figures due to underreporting. Sexual violence against minor girls has become a never-ending phenomenon witnessed across States/UTs. In Kerala, one of the leading States on the SDG Index, the latest data from the Social Welfare Department reported 627 cases of child rape between January 1 to May 31, 2021.
- Heinous crime against minor girls, many in their early childhood, is a most disturbing reality. Lack of administrative will, political interests, inadequate prevention, poor capacities of human resource and lack of public awareness is accountable for weak legal enforcement.
- Ensuring a gender-responsive child protection system; amid crisis is paramount. The process of decision-making governance, and community actions must prioritise the issues around girl child protection.
- Educate families about the detrimental impacts of the household burden on young girls. Enable families to empower their daughters through education and household decision-making.
- Overcome gender bias in education gender-neutral school curriculum, pedagogy, and environment. Challenge the gender discriminatory attitudes of students and present role models. Ensure safe and gender-responsive reopening of schools to meet the needs of most marginalised girls.
- Launch stringent measures to eliminate child marriage (considering the rise in Covid-19 context). Engage more boys and girls to voice and act against child marriage in the community.
- Ensure that girl safety is a collective responsibility. Build a safe environment for girls through promoting child safeguarding practices in community, neighbourhood, family, and school-enhance systems for reporting violence. Form community networks of whistle-blowers.
- Educate and Empower girl child on their rights. Develop knowledge and skills of young girls on selfcare. defence, sex education, and abuse reporting. Encourage more girls to become an agent of change against patriarchal attitudes- be a leader and mobiliser for social behaviour change.
- Prioritise early childhood period. Focus on quality childcare and holistic ECD for girl children aged 0-8. Ensure full immunisation, health check-up. breastfeeding, adequate nutrition, hygiene and sanitation, treatment of illnesses, responsive care, early learning stimulation, and protection.
- Lead advocacy, campaigns, and activism to echo girl child protection. Zero tolerance for heinous crimes against minor girl child (voice for robust State protection net, rapid response, public awareness, explicit safety protocols, and dealing victim-blaming attitudes). Prevention is to be prioritised in legal frameworks and not merely relief and compensation.
- Strong protection net for most vulnerable- safety of orphaned, abandoned girl child, girls living in street situations, those in institutions with girl child of prisoners, and commercial sex workers to be prioritised.
- Promote safe adoption practices amid Covid crisis. Effective dealing with growing malpractices of fake adoptions and ensure verified adoption process during Covid-19.
- Develop capacities of human resources and systems for child-care protection. Focus on prohibition. prevention, regulation, rehabilitation, and restoration services. Gender-responsive training of police and other duty bearers.
- Educate girls about cyber safety particularly adolescent girls. Spread awareness on measures to stay safe on social media platforms and prompt reporting of potential threats.
- A gendered approach to disaster risk mitigation. Identify gendered vulnerabilities and gender responsive mitigation strategies in events of disasters, emergencies, and humanitarian crises.
- Empower young girls to act on climate change. Encourage young girls to take environmental issues to Bal Panchayats and other platforms. Prioritise climate change in school curriculum and pedagogy to encourage girls to be the leaders of tomorrow for climate action and community resilience, emphasising SDG Goal 13: Climate action.