Mizoram struggles with alarming surge in Child Abuse cases

Aizawl, November 21: In Mizoram, about 20% of the population comprises of children. And these children are not safe.

The state which holds the dubious distinction of the highest recorded cases of child abuse is still struggling with this menace. A report released last year had said that a whopping 5,622 cases of child abuse were reported in the state between 2012-2016, with numbers showing a rising trend.

The most shocking part, however, is the fact that children in Mizoram are at risk of getting sexually abused in schools and even inside their own homes. Of 451 cases of sexual abuse recorded in the study were mostly committed by the victims’ biological fathers. 13 children reported abuse by step- fathers, four by guardians, eight by brothers or cousins, 26 by teachers and 68 were abused by neighbours.

The CWC or Child Welfare Committee says that the number of complaints has been substantially rising over the past few years.  In 2012, the CWC recorded 62 cases, which increased to 71 in 2013-14. Child abuse cases rose to 136 in 2014-15, and further to 182 in 2015-16.

Of the 5, 622 recorded cases, 451 were sexual abuse cases while 271 were physically abused. 91 children were abused emotionally, 474 were neglected and 662 children did not have responsible parents. 54 of those children were affected by drugs/alcohol addiction, 146 were orphans, 189 children were given to government-run homes, 108 children were abandoned, 29 child labour cases were reported and 24 were kidnapped.

Between 2013-2016 1,214 cases of children in conflict with the law were recorded, including 94 offences under Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition Act, 45 offences under different drug laws and there were 659 cases of burglary and theft by minors.

World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse was observed by District Child Protection Unit, Aizawl and CARE World Vision India on Sunday with a pledge to end child abuse.