After hearing the views of participants in the meeting, he felt that most of people involved in child rights and women protection don’t subscribe to lowering the age for child definition from 18 to16. He feared that such a step may victimise children.
During 2012, he said in Andhra Pradesh alone as many as 1191 cases of rapes against women were reported, of which 88 are minor girls. Besides legislative measures, Mr. Kumar said there is a need to inculcate moral values, making them a part of school syllabus, improving parental care and focus on personality development.
He deplored that films and media are also playing havoc in this regard and suggested for self-regulations in those sectors.
Saadhana director Ch. Murali Mohan presiding over the programme expressed concern that the present debate of sexual violence is leading to suggestions to dilute existing legislative provisions instead of strengthening those systems.
HELP secretary N V S Ramamohan suggested that minor girls who are being dragged into trafficking also should be treated as victims of rapes. He felt the need for more focus on protection of witnesses and victims, besides looking for their rehabilitation avenues. He wondered why compensation provided to women victims is being denied if they are minors. He said instead of making the government to pay compensation to the victims, it should be paid by the perpetrators of violence.
Renowned child rights activist Fr Thamas Koshy of Navajeevan Bala Bhavan, Vijayawada, cautioned that lowering the age for definition of children would expose children to vulnerability of rights violations. Psychologist Dr. Krishna Kumari said deficient parental care leads to abnormal behaviour in children.
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