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Violence and Crime against Children in India
Children are one of the most vulnerable classes. They are innocent and immature to understand the bad intention of any person, because of which they easily fall prey to the evil done by any other person. The violence or any kind of crime which may be committed against the children by any person including their parents, family members, teacher or even their guardians.
The crimes committed against children includes foeticide, gender determination of foetus, sexual abuse and exploitation, molestation, rape, kidnapping, etc. these offences have been acknowledged by the Indian laws and made punishable accordingly.
What are the crimes against Children in India?
Some of the crimes committed against children in India are as follows −
Sex Determination and Foeticide
This offence is such which is committed even before the child is born by their own parents and family members. They try to find out the gender of the foetus and if it is a girl child then they commit foeticide by killing the foetus in the mother’s womb itself. In order to prevent it, an Act called Pre- Conception Pre –Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994 has been passed which punishes the offender with a maximum of three years’ imprisonment and a penalty upto Rs. 50,000.
In India the minimum age for marriage has been fixed by the government as 18 for girls and 21 for boys. But, people make their children get married at a very small age of around 8-9. At such an age the minds of the children are not fully developed to understand the meaning of marriage. So in order to protect the children from such social evil the government has passed “The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006.” Under this act, the guilty shall be punished with a rigorous imprisonment upto 2 years and penalty upto 2 lakh rupees.
Every third child faces sexual abuse which makes them go through a lot of problems like anxiety, depression which can even extend to committing suicide. The Prevention of children from sexual offences Act, 2012 punishes all sorts of sexual offences committed against children. It also provisions to establish special courts so that the trails are speedy and there is no audience which not required.
Section 312, 313 and 314 of the Indian Penal Code deals with the punishment given to people who intentionally causes, or without the consent of the woman causes such miscarriage.
Many times children are killed in the rage of enmity or even negligence. Thus, murder has been made punishable under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.
It is the duty of parents to safeguard their children. When they fail on their part or if they abandon their child intentionally then, it is punishable under Section 317 of the Indian Penal Code.
Abetment of Suicide of Child or Insane Person
Sec 305 of the Indian Penal Code explains and punishes this offence. It states that any person who abets the suicide of a person under the age of eighteen years shall be punished with death penalty or imprisonment for life or imprisonment upto 10 years and a penalty.
As defined under Section 359 of the Indian Penal Code, kidnapping is of two kinds −
Kidnapping from India; and
Kidnapping from lawful guardianship
Kidnapping is done for various purposes which includes −
Procuration of minor girl
Importation of girl from foreign country
Compel for marriage
Steal from its person
All these purposes are recognised by the Indian Penal Code and appropriate punishment is provided for the same.
Rape in India is no more gender specific, especially in case of children. But the punishment in IPC is specific. Sections 375 and 376 of IPC not only define and provide punishment for various kinds of rape but also provides protection to the females below the age of fifteen years who are married.
The punishment for rape for different categories is as follows −
|Section 376(3)||Rape of woman under 16 years of age||Rigorous imprisonment from 20 years to life imprisonment and penalty|
|Section 376 AB||Rape of woman under 12 years of age||Death penalty or rigorous imprisonment from 20 years to life imprisonment and fine|
|Section 376 DA||Gang rape of woman under 16 years of age||Imprisonment for life and penalty|
|Section 376 DB||Gang rape of woman under 12 years of age||Death penalty or imprisonment for life and fine|
The violence and crimes against the children in India has been recognised by the Indian laws and appropriate punishment for the same has been provisioned. Moreover, the government along with the legislature is trying hard to eradicate these crimes. For example, child marriage has been eradicated from India to a large extend. Thus, it becomes the duty of citizens of India also to get aware and help safeguard the future of our country i.e., these children.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Can offences be committed against an unborn child?
Ans. Yes, offences such as infanticide, foeticide, miscarriage, etc. are more often committed against an unborn child.
Q2. Is it legal for Indian parents to hit their children?
Ans. No, hitting and beating children whether in home or school is not permitted.
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