Most studies conducted in the sphere of child rights show that the violation of rights guaranteed to children is not the outcome of one factor, but has been brought about in India by multiple inadequacies and failures. The factors responsible for it are largely interlinked, and merely extensive policy reforms would not be enough to curb them. Rather, reforms must be combined with an effort to bring about significant changes in the mindset of the common people.
Now let’s have a quick discussion about ways in which the child rights are presently being violated in India:
Violence, particularly that of a sexual nature, against children, generally occurs due to social stigma. According to surveys, in 2012, nearly 9500 children and adolescents were murdered. In addition to that, 1 among every 3 young girls aged 15 to 19 years becomes the victim of emotional, sexual or physical violence. Unfortunately, violence inflicted by family or people at institutions is almost never reported because of the existing family structure in rural (and also, urban) India.
Even to this day, when India is proving itself to be one of the fastest growing economies in the world, child trafficking remains alive and well. From extensive studies, it has been concluded trafficking of children thrives mainly due to 3 reasons – less opportunities & widespread poverty, trafficking being a lucrative criminal business, and lack of effective initiative to enforce child rights.
A report published in 2015 by U.S. Department of Labour showed India is one of the 74 countries in the world that produces various goods through forced child labour. There are still hundreds of children who have to work hard in fields for extended hours, and even toil in labour intensive fields such as mining, farming, embroidery, stone cutting and so on. Apparently, child labour seems to incidentally higher amongst OBCs, Muslims, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, even though there are reservation policies to ensure more opportunities for this demographic.
In order to curb such child rights’ violations and many others, various government as well as non-government organisations are working stupendously to create awareness among people and ensure better opportunities, particularly in terms of rural education and employment in India. But their efforts would not be enough without participation of the common people in initiatives for eliminating injustice and discrimination against marginalised sections of the society.