According to the census, India is the second-most populated country in the world, India’s population accounts for world’s 17.5 percent population. As per India’s Census 2011, Youth (15–24 years) in India constitutes one-fifth (19.1%) of India’s total population. Around 50 percent of these children need more care and protection.

Children of our country are valued assets. Protection of children from crime and sexual abuse is considered one of the prime agendas for achieving millennium developmental goals.

Millions of children in India are exploited, abused, and discriminated. The Crimes against children include physical, emotional abuse, neglect, exploitation, and child pornography. In India, The Indian penal code (IPC) and various protective agencies, preventive special, local laws specifically mention crimes wherein children are victims.

Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) has defined the child’s age to be below 18 years. Whenever children are revealed to crime, violence, and abuse, there are more chances to abuse drugs and alcohol. Most children suffer from depression, anxiety, abuse, neglect in the family, incest, sexual abuse, infanticide, bullying, and other forms of violence in the school. After this incident, many children become delinquent and engage in criminal behavior.

In India, seeing the increasing trend of sexual crimes, especially against children exhibiting the highest level of bestiality and barbarity in the commission of corruption since 2012 (evidently in cases such as the Nirbhaya Rape Case of 2012 and, more recently, the Kathua Rape Case of 2018).

According to experts, official crime records under-report the actual extent of crime in society. In a country like India, officially reported crimes are only like the tip of the iceberg because many crimes in India go unreported due to so many reasons.

The registered case for Crime against India has increased more than 450% in the last ten years (2009–2019). According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the number of registered cases for crime against children in 2009 was approx. 24203 while it was in 2019 was 143973.

The top five states that registered most crime cases against children are Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, NCT of Delhi, Bihar.

As per National Crime Records Bureau the major filed cases under crime against children in India (2019) were Kidnapping and Abduction of Children (70%), Rape (5.07%), Assault on Women (4.35%), Other IPC Crimes (10.95%) respectively.

To Protect, children from abuse need active parenting and family support. For the protection of children, community members should also be instrumental. Start Working with children to develop awareness and courage. It is an essential part of teaching for their self-protection. After that training, they would be able to identify potential threats and take action. Educate children on the best ways to fight against predators, and knowing about these predators, is one of the best guards against child abduction.

The Ministry also launched the Country National Database of Sexual Offenders (NDSO) has names and aliases, travel and immigration documents, employment information, professional licenses, vehicle information, criminal history, photograph, fingerprints, DNA samples, Aadhaar card numbers, and voter IDs.

Crime against children in India
By Deepak Singh, Junior Spatial Analyst & Quant researcher, Sanrachana