CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE AND THE LAW IN INDIA
By Priya Jagadeesh
The World Health Organization defines Child Sexual Abuse (‘CSA’) as “the involvement of a child in sexual activity that he or she does not fully comprehend, is unable to give informed consent to, or for which the child is not developmentally prepared and cannot give consent, or that violates the laws or social taboos of society..” CSA includes an range of sexual activities like fondling, inviting a child to touch or be touched sexually, intercourse, exhibitionism, involving a child in prostitution or pornography, or online child luring by cyber-predators.
CSA is a major problem of considerable magnitude throughout the world. A recent systematic review of 55 studies from 24 countries found much heterogeneity in studies in terms of definition and measurement of CSA and concluded that rates of CSA ranged from 8 to 31% for females and from 3 to 17% for males.
This article focuses on how the law relating to CSA has been gradually evolved in India, the recent changes made in the law and further the major obstacles in implementing the law resulting in less conviction rates.
©2020- Lex Humanitariae: Journal for a Change