Child Rights – POSCO, Child Labour Laws, NAPC, etc.

[op-ed snap] Treat the diseaseop-ed snap

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Paedophilia

Mains level : Child sexual abuse - the disease behind it


Context

In matters of sexual crime and criminals, where there is a social revulsion towards the perpetrators, the law is blunt and the public discourse is vitiated by a collective desire for revenge. 

Paedophilia

  • Paedophilia has been classified by the WHO as a disease. 
  • There are few mental health professionals in India equipped to deal with it. 
  • Over 300 people suspected of having paedophilic tendencies have reached out to a network of psychologists and psychiatrists based in Mumbai and Pune, seeking help.
  • There are severe legal consequences for those who sexually assault and target children under the POCSO Act. 
  • But doctors in Mumbai attempt to treat paedophilia through counseling and antidepressants. 
  • This is especially for those who are “at the lower threshold of the disease” and have not been booked under the Act. 
  • According to Klaus Beier, director of the Institute of Sexology and Sexual Medicine, at least 1% of the male population suffers from paedophilia. 
  • Given India’s population, it cannot be left unaddressed and untreated.

Welcome move

  • The initiative to treat people who want to deal with their paedophilic tendencies is welcome.
  • Often, the fear of the stigma that comes with articulating such feelings leads to horrifying consequences. 
  • A section of mental health professionals are taking a series of steps — from anonymous helplines to expanding the number of doctors capable of managing the disorder.

Conclusion

  • Any society cannot leave the well-being of its children outside the ambit of the law. Once acts of sexual violence are committed, they must be prosecuted.
  • It is also important to deal with those who seek treatment with compassion and sympathy.
  • It is important to treat the disease, not merely punish the diseased.

 

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