Jaipur: In its collective bid to end sexual offence against children and women, the Dignity March, comprising thousands of survivors of rape and sexual violence, arrived in Jaipur on Sunday. These survivors travelled through Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.
With its arrival in Jaipur, the 10,000 kilometre march, is in its 54th day, after starting off from Mumbai on December 20 last year. These survivors are heading towards Delhi where the march will culminate on February 22.
As per the latest National Crime Record Bureau 2016 stats of the total 15,379 victims trafficked in India, 58.7% were children. Most of these children are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation.
The report also highlights a grim situation for children and women in Rajasthan. As per the data, reported cases of crime against children has increased by 123% from 1807 in 2012 to 4034 in 2016 while crime against women has gone up by 30% from 21,106 in 2012 to 27,442 in 2016 in the state. In fact, Rajasthan ranked 4th based on percentage of incidents of crime against women in 2016.
In Rajasthan, 20,000 to 30,000 families are involved in caste based commercial sexual exploitation in Ajmer, Bhilwara, Chittorgarh, Bharatpur, Karauli, Savai, Madhopur, Dholpur, Pratapgarh and Alwar- and majority of them are minor girls, says reports.
On its arrival in Jaipur, Dignity March organised an event to discuss the situation around sexual violence and rape against children and women in Rajasthan and India. During the event, Ashif Shaikh, Convenor, Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan, Dignity March along with survivors of rape and sexual violence, highlighted the important role of reporting cases and further advancing the cause.
Shaikh, “It is unfortunate that victim shaming by society has created an atmosphere where victims fear to even report the crime and hence very less FIRs are filed. Moreover, low conviction rate in cases of sexual violence further boosts offenders’ morale. If the perpetuators don’t fear conviction and punishment, these crimes won’t stop. In the past, our governments and laws have taken a reactive approach towards tackling this issue but now it is time to take strong and proactive measures. Higher conviction rate will lead to deterrence and hence there is need for stronger actions by law enforcement against the perpetrators, especially in cases of forced child prostitution and sexual violence against children.”
With Parliament recently passing an amendment to Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, there is increased potential to hold these criminals of sexual violence against children and minors, accountable for their heinous actions.
The Dignity March conceptualised and initiated by Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan, is a sixty-five day national march.
Mar 21, 2019 0
Mar 21, 2019 0
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