Prevent Child Sexual Abuse, Write to Protect Children’s right to safety
The emergency measures imposed to curb COVID-19 have led to an increasing number of children being subjected to abuse and exploitation, both within and outside their homes. The Government-run helpline, CHILDLINE India reported 92,000 distress calls on child abuse and violence in the first 11 days of the nation-wide lockdown. The growing loss of livelihood and the economic impact of the pandemic is likely to push more children out of schools and force them into child labour and early marriage, further exposing them to sexual and physical abuse. The required school closures have further aggravated the problem, leaving children who do not have access to safe reporting mechanisms – helpless.
As parents, teachers and concerned citizens, it is important that we speak up to demand the safety of our children. Through its ‘Our Safety, Our Rights’ campaign, Amnesty International India and its partners have been able to reach schools across Tamil Nadu since 2018 to train teachers on child safety and assist them with material and aids, so they can empower children to fight abuse.
However, given the current crisis, a larger intervention is needed to entrench child safety into state policies and ensure their effective implementation. We invite you to write a letter to the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu urging him to take the necessary steps and make essential changes to protect our children.