Recent NCRB data shows more than 99% of crimes registered under the POCSO Act in 2020 were against girls. According to the NCRB data, girl children continue to be the most vulnerable sections of society.
 
An analysis of the latest NCRB data by NGO Child Rights and You (CRY) revealed that among the 28,327 children who have been victims of crimes reported under the POCSO Act, 28,058 were to be girls.
 
Deeper research of the cases reported under the POCSO Act indicated that the highest crimes are committed against adolescent girls within the 16 to 18 age groups with 14,092 cases. The number is followed by 10,949 crimes against girls within the age group of 12 to 16. 


 

Both boys and girls both are vulnerable to abuse, but the NCRB data reveals that irrespective of any age, girls are more susceptible to sexual offences than boys.
 
CRY on the occasion of International Day of Girl Child which is observed today, 11 October, said that girls are celebrated across the world and their rights are being discussed, but still, they remain to be one of the most vulnerable parts of our society, just as shown by the NCRB data. 
 
The latest data published by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) last month, over 99% of crimes that happened in 2020 reported under the POCSO Act were against girls. 
 
Priti Mahara, the director of policy research and advocacy at CRY, said the recent trends of crimes committed against girls and children must not be isolated. 
 
She said, "It is vital to understand that along with the protection-related challenges, aspects linked to education, social protection, poverty, etc. also play a significant role in the empowerment of the girl child; and assessing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on these parameters is equally crucial.”

Girls have to face multiple vulnerabilities during a crisis and also after they go through any criminal experience, like their access to education is restricted and they are more exposed to the risks of child marriage. “They are also more likely to experience violence and sexual exploitation in multiple forms and degrees," Mahara added. 
 
Mahara said that the pandemic has thrown off track the progress that has been made over the years in terms of girls' education and strengthening child protection systems. She emphasized the need for a strong child protection mechanism.



She added that with an increase in vulnerability, the chance of girls quitting education and falling off the protection safety net has increased. 
 
Girls particularly in adolescence are at risk of losing protection during and after any humanitarian crisis, Mahara said.
 
She added, "Given the immediate and long-term risks arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the need of the hour is, therefore, to reinforce gender-responsive protection interventions and ensure that these are implemented to the fullest."
 


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