Vizag, already known as the cyber crime capital of Andhra Pradesh, is all set to make its mark in the children’s rights violation as well. As per the data from AP State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (APSCPCR), the maximum number of children’s rights violation in various forms was registered and reported from Visakhapatnam district (2014-16).
A total number of 175 cases were registered to the local police under the state commission from 13 districts, out of which 26 were from Vizag itself. However, the number of total crimes taking place in the district are much higher, which are mostly resolved locally by the grievance redressal cells in the mandal, divisional and district level. The cases include violations of Right to Education (RTE) including corporal punishment and entitlements, child marriages in abundance, cases of sexual abuse under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act), child protection related cases, those related to denial of services and discrimination among others. Recently, the week-long UNCRC (United Nation’s Conventions on the Rights of the Child) campaign and International Children’s Day in collaboration with National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Government of India, was observed which intended to lower the crime rate against children but no such crime rate lowering was observed.
As per APSCPCR data, a total of 175 cases were registered including suo motu cases based on media reports and complaints. Out of these, 148 cases were resolved through district administration and collectors’ interventions while 27 cases are pending with the commission. 26 cases were registered from Visakhapatnam, followed by 25 cases in Kadapa district and 20 in Chittoor while 16 cases each were registered from Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and East Godavari districts. These cases are mostly related to corporal punishment in schools and lack of entitlements and basic amenities in schools, discrimination and denial of services and sexual abuse. Child marriages is also a big issue in the state. Between 2014-16, Srikakulam received 266 cases, Vizianagaram got 192 cases, while Visakhapatnam got 124 cases under Child Marriage Prohibition Act-2006. These many cases of child marriages clearly depicts that we need to act against these criminal activities happening around us. Also, 580 sexual abuse incidents were recorded across Andhra Pradesh and so far 280 such cases were registered under POCSO Act for speedy trails in designated Special Courts. In North coastal AP, Srikakulam had 37 cases, Vizianagaram 21 cases while Visakhapatnam tracked 16 cases.
All the increased number of criminal activities against children prove that the way we are treating the young generation is not appropriate and need to be changed immediately. The alarming increase in children’s rights violation is something we need to work on to decrease it and to make sure that no child suffers such criminal activities and leads a healthy life.