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Analyzing Crimes Affecting Children Concerning NCRB Data 2022

The most helpless and innocent victims of crime are children. They are easily targeted, and frequently the known target them. They can be anyone designated to look after them, including parents, guardians, relatives, and caregivers. Children are the victims of several crimes, including being slain as well as sold, exploited, and physically assaulted.

Various Types Of Crime Affecting Children:

Different kinds of crimes are committed against minors. A list of them would be hard to compile. On the other hand, three broad categories can be used to group the crimes. These include child pornography, child abuse, and child neglect or abandonment.

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) published its annual report on December 4th. It includes information on state-by-state crime statistics, conviction rates, charge-sheeting rates, and other topics. In 2022, there were more than 1.62 lakh recorded cases of crime against minors, which is an 8.7% rise from the 1.49 lakh occurrences in 2021. According to the report, there were 83,350 reported missing children in 2022 (20,380 male, 62,946 female, and 24 transgender), which is a 7.5% increase from the 77,535 reported missing children in 2021.

Kidnapping and Abduction: A kidnapping may happen for a variety of reasons:
  • For demanding ransoms
  • For selling and procurement
  • Parental Child abduction
  • For illegal adoption

NCRB DATA 2022 shows there were 1,62,449 recorded cases of crimes against minors, which is an 8.7% increase (1,49,404 cases) over 2021. Of these cases, kidnapping and abduction accounted for the plurality (45.7%), with 39.7% being reported under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act.
  • Sexual abuse and exploitation: It covers things like getting a child involved in sexual activity, exposing them to obscene material, grooming them for sexual purposes, using them in child pornography, and more.
  • Data consistently indicates that, in cases of sexual offenses against minors, the offender was typically someone the victim knew and exploited the child's susceptibility. In 96.8% of cases under the penetrative sexual assault category, the victim knew the perpetrator. 3276 cases out of the 36682 cases involving a known individual involved a family member as the accused.
  • Cruelty: It describes any deliberate injury or abuse done to a child by a parent, guardian, or other trusted or authoritative figure. There are many different ways to abuse a child, such as through physical abuse, mental or psychological abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect.
  • Child Labour: Despite stringent laws, 30,130 cases of child labour were registered highlighting the persistent exploitation of children in hazardous industries.
  • Employment of children for begging: Children are being coerced into working as beggars. Across all nations, regardless of economic conditions, children are employed as beggars. Cases of begging rose to 98 as reported in NCRB data 2022.
  • Prohibition of Child Marriage Act: The report states that 1,020 cases were registered under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act last year with the top three states including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Assam.

In addition to this, the following further offenses are included under the IPC and Special and Local Laws (SLL):
  • Exposure and abandonment of child under 12 years, by parent or person having care of it (sec 317)
  • Infanticide (sec 315): NCRB data 2022 shows a total of 83 cases registered.
  • Selling and buying of minors for prostitution (sec 372 and 373)
  • Importation of girls from foreign countries, below the age of 18 years (sec 366-B)

Laws Enacted For The Betterment Of Children:

In International Law
Declaration of the Rights of the Child, 1924:
The 1924 Convention mentions the basic rights in the following points:
  • The child must be given the means for its normal development.
  • The hungry child must be fed; the child that is sick must be nursed; the backward child must be helped; the delinquent child must be reclaimed; and the orphan and the waif must be sheltered and succored;
  • The child must on priority receive relief in times of distress;
  • The child must be put in a position to earn a livelihood.

Declaration of the Rights of the Child, 1959": The five basic rights of the 1924 Convention were extended with the 1959 declaration, which elaborated upon the same basic rights focusing on education and protection of children from practices that may foster discrimination.

"Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989": It is the first covenant that explicitly recognizes children as social actors and active rights bearers. CRC puts the primary responsibility of rearing children on guardians and caregivers which will be supported by the state. The four core principles of the Convention enshrined in Articles 2, 3, 6, and 12 are non-discrimination; the best interests of the child; the right to life, survival, and development; and respect for the views of the child.

In Indian Law
  • The Constitution of India:
    • Right against Exploitation - Article 23
    • Right of being Protected from trafficking and forced labor - Article 23
    • Right to Education - Article 21A
    • Right against Discrimination - Article 15
    • Right to Equality - Article 14

Directives to the States under DPSP for the protection of Child
To provide healthy development chances and conditions of freedom and dignity for children and youth, while safeguarding them against exploitation and monetary and moral abandonment- Article39(f).

To Protect the Tender Age of Children- Article 39(e)

To provide childhood care and education for children till they complete the age of six years- Article 45

The Guardian and Wards Act, 1890 This act deals with the qualification, appointment, and removal of guardians of children by the courts.

The Children (Pledging of Labour) Act, 1933: The act prohibits the making of agreements to pledge the labor of children and the employment of children whose labor has been pledged.

Probation of Offenders Act, 1958: This act protects offenders below the age of twenty-one years from being imprisoned.

Orphanage and other Charitable Homes (Supervision and Control) Act, 1960: This act was enacted to have supervision and control over orphanages and homes and other like institutions for neglected women and children.

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act), 2012: The act addresses sexual abuses and sexual exploitation of children.

Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015": The JJ Act, 2015 provides for strengthened provisions for both children in need of care and protection and children in conflict with law.

The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986: This law governs the working conditions for minors in certain jobs and forbids the hiring of minors in others.

Infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles and Infant Foods Act, 1992: This Act's goal is to safeguard and encourage the nursing of newborns and young children. Additionally, it attempts to make sure that baby food usage and regulations are followed.

The NCRB data indicates that sexual offenses and kidnapping and abduction for multiple purposes are the main crimes that have shown an increase in frequency. Although it may be argued that increased awareness is resulting in more cases being registered, information about how these cases are being handled by the police and courts will give a clearer picture of the situation with these crimes.

One of the main objectives of the POCSO Act of India is that "the law must operate in a manner that the best interest and well-being of the child are regarded as being of paramount importance at every stage, to ensure the healthy physical, emotional, intellectual and social development of the child" India must work more proactively to guarantee the protection and well-being of children in all respects to fulfill these goals as well as those outlined in other national and international legislation.

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