“Sexual abuse of children is “disturbingly common” in India, and the government’s response to it has fallen short, both in protecting children and in treating victims, Human Rights Watch said in a report released Thursday.
The group urged the government to better shield children from sexual abuse as part of a broad push for change after the death of a young woman who was gang-raped here in December. Although there are child protection laws on the books, including one passed last year, the rights organization said the measures were not properly enforced.
Yet most cases go unreported. A 2007 government-sponsored study, based on interviews with 12,500 children in 13 Indian states, said that 53 percent of the children reported having been sexually abused in some way, but only 3 percent of the cases were reported to the police.