India: Child sex abuse disturbingly common: HRW


Indian protesters burn a rapist in effigy Dec. 26, 2012, in New Delhi, India.


Sajjad Hussain

The Indian government must improve its protections for child victims of sexual abuse, which is "disturbingly common," said US-based Human Rights Watch in a new report.

According to the report, the abuse is rampant across schools, homes, and residential care facilities, and government systems to deal with abuse is inadequate.

Two of every three children is victim to some kind of physical abuse-- a government study conducted in 2007 found that 53 percent of the children surveyed reported some type of abuse. The study also found that about 70 percent of abused children never reported the matter.

Other reports gave even more horrific numbers, stating that more than 7,200 children are raped in India each year, BBC reported.

Instead of being comforted or protected, the victims are often mistreated for a second time by professionals who often subject them to traumatic medical exams. Police officials and other authorities are also hesitant to believe the children, resulting in further distress.

The Associated Press reported though a comprehensive law that should protect children from sexual abuse was passed in 2012, the problem would never be fully resolved until there was significant reform to the legal justice system, which rarely convicts offenders, and police officers war better trained.