Crime Against Women

RISING CRIME AGAINST WOMEN IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES. The rising crime rate against women especially children in developing countries is appalling. The lethargy of law enforcement agencies have rendered otherwise tough laws redundant. Corruption is the worst nightmare for women. India a relatively safe country has become dangerous for women, where even 4 year old girls are not safe in their own homes. Shameful for a country which worships goddesses and virgin girls. There is a desperate need for Human Rights Activism which will be free of local interferences.

There should be a human rights courts having a single world office where all crimes against women must be tried and punished, taking out local tampering. Since the world has become a global village, its high time we have single world bodies with representatives from all member nations. It is high time morally thinking people get together to stop immoral outrages against the meak. Nothing can justify such an appaling fact in developing countries. However, the issue of why this is happening has always been overlooked.

The reason for this is that as much as our countries guarantee that women are given equal rights as men, walking side by side to each other, unfortunately in this day and age women are still considered the ‘lower sex’ in authority. What should be noted here is that in developing countries, even if there is a law that will be brought to safeguard crimes against children and women, there is no hope in those rights being guaranteed to the citizens of that country, as in developing countries government (selfish and corrupt in most cases) is above the law and everyone else is helpless to try and change this fact.

My personal view is that community integration is necessary. However, the line of invclusion and intrusion often gets tangled up. Although, having a central human rights court sounds like a good idea, in practice it will not work so well. Different countries have different practices, and issuing some act as wrongful will in some countries be acceptable and widely practiced. For example, in places such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, where forced marriage statistics are highest in the world, the practice is undertaken and acceptable in some communities.

However, if the UK gets involved and tries to save the victim, the family and community will be offended and consider that involvement as interference by ‘British’ people in their culture. The truth is, life as a major exam where everyone is tested regularly. Even if positive steps are taken to reform such acts, problems will always exist. Life is not about problems, but it is about how we DEAL with those problems when they face us that matters. Crimes against women Main article: Women in India Police records show high incidence of crimes against women in India.

The National Crime Records Bureau reported in 1998 that the growth rate of crimes against women would be higher than the population growth rate by 2010. [4] Earlier, many cases were not registered with the police due to the social stigma attached to rape and molestation cases. Official statistics show that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of reported crimes against women. [4] [edit] Sexual Harassment Half of the total number of crimes against women reported in 1990 related to molestation and harassment at the workplace. 4] Eve teasing is a euphemism used for sexual harassment or molestation of women by men. Many activists blame the rising incidents of sexual harassment against women on the influence of “Western culture”. In 1987, The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act was passed[5] to prohibit indecent representation of women through advertisements or in publications, writings, paintings, figures or in any other manner. In 1997, in a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court of India took a strong stand against sexual harassment of women in the workplace.

The Court also laid down detailed guidelines for prevention and redressal of grievances. The National Commission for Women subsequently elaborated these guidelines into a Code of Conduct for employers. [4] While public urination is practised by men of all ages in India, it is socially unacceptable for girls and women to publicly urinate when restrooms are unavailable. In other countries such as Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam public urination is practised by women when there are no toilets. Resisting urination leads to harassment and UTI in women. [6] [7] [8] [9] [edit] Dowry Main articles: Dowry and Dowry law in India

In 1961, the Government of India passed the Dowry Prohibition Act,[10] making the dowry demands in wedding arrangements illegal. However, many cases of dowry-related domestic violence, suicides and murders have been reported. In the 1980s, numerous such cases were reported. However, recent reports show that the number of these crimes have reduced drastically. [11] In 1985, the Dowry Prohibition (maintenance of lists of presents to the bride and bridegroom) rules were framed. [12] According to these rules, a signed list of presents given at the time of the marriage to the bride and the bridegroom should be maintained.

The list should contain a brief description of each present, its approximate value, the name of whoever has given the present and his/her relationship to the person. A 1997 report[13] claimed that at least 5,000 women die each year because of dowry deaths, and at least a dozen die each day in ‘kitchen fires’ thought to be intentional. The term for this is “bride burning” and is criticized within India itself. Amongst the urban educated, such dowry abuse has reduced dramatically. [edit] Child Marriage Child marriage has been traditionally prevalent in India and continues to this day.

Young girls live with their parents until they reach puberty. In the past, the child widows were condemned to a life of great agony, shaving heads, living in isolation, and shunned by the society. [14] Although child marriage was outlawed in 1860, it is still a common practice. [15] According to UNICEF’s “State of the World’s Children-2009” report, 47% of India’s women aged 20–24 were married before the legal age of 18, with 56% in rural areas. [16] The report also showed that 40% of the world’s child marriages occur in India. 17] [edit] Female infanticides and sex selective abortions Main article: Sex-selective abortion and infanticide India has a highly masculine sex ratio, the chief reason being that many women die before reaching adulthood. [4] Tribal societies in India have a less masculine sex ratio than all other caste groups. This, in spite of the fact that tribal communities have far lower levels of income, literacy and health facilities. [4] It is therefore suggested by many experts, that the highly masculine sex ratio in India can be attributed to female infanticides and sex-selective abortions.

All medical tests that can be used to determine the sex of the child have been banned in India, due to incidents of these tests being used to get rid of unwanted female children before birth. Female infanticide (killing of girl infants) is still prevalent in some rural areas. [4] The abuse of the dowry tradition has been one of the main reasons for sex-selective abortions and female infanticides in India. [edit] Domestic violence The incidents of domestive violence are higher among the lower Socio-Economic Classes (SECs). There are various instances of an inebriated husband beating up the wife often leading to severe injuries.

Domestic violence is also seen in the form of physical abuse. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 came into force on October 26, 2006. [edit] Illegal drug trade India is located between two major illicit opium producing centres in Asia – the Golden Crescent comprising Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran and the Golden Triangle comprising Burma, Thailand and Laos. [18] Because of such geographical location, India experiences large amount of drug trafficking through the borders. [19] India is the world’s largest producer of licit opium. [20] But opium is diverted to illicit international drug markets. 20] India is a transshipment point for heroin from Southwest Asian countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan and from Southeast Asian countries like Burma, Laos, and Thailand. [21] Heroin is smuggled from Pakistan and Burma, with some quantities transshipped through Nepal. [21] Most heroin shipped from India are destined for Europe. [21] There have been reports of heroin smuggled from Mumbai to Nigeria for further export. [21] In Maharashtra, Mumbai is an important centre for distribution of drug. [22] The most commonly used drug in Mumbai is Indian heroin (called desi mal by the local opulation). [22] Both public transportation (road and rail transportation) and private transportation are used for this drug trade. [22] Drug trafficking affects the country in many ways. • Drug abuse: Cultivation of illicit narcotic substances and drug trafficking affects the health of the individuals and destroy the economic structure of the family and society. [23] • Organized crime: Drug trafficking results in growth of organized crime which affects social security. Organised crime connects drug trafficking with corruption and money laundering. 23] • Political instability: Drug trafficking also aggravate the political instability in North-West and North-East India. [24] A survey conducted in 2003-2004 by Narcotics Control Bureau found that India has at least four million drug addicts. [25] The most common drugs used in India are cannabis, hashish, opium and heroin. [25] In 2006 alone, India’s law enforcing agencies recovered 230 kg heroin and 203 kg of cocaine. [26] In an annual government report in 2007, the United States named India among 20 major hubs for trafficking of illegal drugs along with Pakistan, Afghanistan and Burma.

However, studies reveal that most of the criminals caught in this crime are either Nigerian or US nationals. [27] Several measures have been taken by the Government of India to combat drug trafficking in the country. India is a party of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961), the Convention on Psychotropic Substances (1971), the Protocol Amending the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1972) and the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (1988). [28] An Indo-Pakistani committee was set up in 1986 to prevent trafficking in narcotic drugs. 29] India signed a convention with the United Arab Emirates in 1994 to control drug trafficking. [29] In 1995, India signed an agreement with Egypt for investigation of drug cases and exchange of information and a Memorandum of Understanding of the Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Drugs with Iran. [29] [edit] Arms trafficking According to a joint report published by Oxfam, Amnesty International and the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) in 2006, there are around 40 million illegal small arms in India out of approximately 75 million in worldwide circulation. 30] Majority of the illegal small arms make its way into the states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh. [30] In India, a used AK-47 costs $3,800 in black market. [31] Large amount of illegal small arms are manufactured in various illegal arms factories in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and sold on the black market for as little as $5. 08. [30] Chinese pistols are in demand in the illegal small arms market in India because they are easily available and cheaper. 30] This trend poses a significant problem for the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh which have influence of Naxalism. [30] The porous Indo-Nepal border is an entry point for Chinese pistols, AK-47 and M-16 rifles into India as these arms are used by the Naxalites who have ties to Maoists in Nepal. [30] In North-East India, there is a huge influx of small arms due to the insurgent groups operating there. 32] The small arms in North-East India come from insurgent groups in Burma, black market in South-East Asian countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, black market in Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China, insurgent groups like the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the Communist Party of India (Maoist), the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), Indian states like Uttar Pradesh and pilferages from legal gun factories, criminal organizations operating in India and South Asian countries and other international markets like Romania, Germany etc. 32] The small arms found in North-East India are M14 rifle, M16 rifle, AK-47, AK-56, AK-74, light machine guns, Chinese hand grenades, mines, rocket-propelled grenades, submachine guns etc. [32] The Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs drafted a joint proposal to the United Nations, seeking a global ban on small-arms sales to non-state users. [30] [edit] Poaching and wildlife trafficking Illegal wildlife trade in India has increased. 33] According to a report published by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) in 2004, India is the chief target for the traders of wildlife skin. [34] Between 1994 and 2003, there have been 784 cases where the skins of tiger, leopard or otter have been seized. [34] Leopards, rhinoceros, reptiles, birds, insects, rare species of plants are being smuggled into the countries in Southeast Asia and the People’s Republic of China. [33] Between 1994 and 2003, poaching and seizure of 698 otters have been documented in India. 34] Kathmandu is a key staging point for illegal skins smuggled from India bound for Tibet and PRC. [34] The report by EIA noted there has been a lack of cross-border cooperation between India, Nepal and the People’s Republic of China to coordinate enforcement operations and lack of political will to treat wildlife crime effectively. [34] The poaching of the elephants is a significant problem in Southern India[35] and in the North-Eastern states of Nagaland and Mizoram. 36] The majority of tiger poaching happen in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. [37] Following is a comparison of reported cases of tiger and leopard poaching from 1998 to 2003: |Year |1998 |1999 |2000 |2001 |2002 |2003 | |Reported cases of tiger poaching[38] |14 |38 |39 |35 |47 |8 | |Reported cases of leopard poaching[38] |28 |80 |201 |69 |87 |15 |

Samir Sinha, head of TRAFFIC India, the wildlife trade monitoring arm of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the World Conservation Union (IUCN), told Reuters in an interview “The situation regarding the illegal trade in wildlife parts in India is very grim. It is a vast, a varied trade ranging from smuggling of rare medicinal plants to butterflies to peafowl to tigers and it is difficult to predict how big it is, but the threats and dimensions suggest that the trade is increasing”. 33] Project Tiger, a wildlife conservation project, was initiated in 1972 and was launched by Indira Gandhi on April 1, 1973. [39] With 23 tiger reserves, Project Tiger claimed to have succeeded. [39] But according to critics like conservationist Billy Arjan Singh, temporary increases in tiger population were caused by immigration due to destruction of habitat in Nepal, not because of the widely acclaimed success of wildlife policy in India. [39]