On 28 January, an 8-month-old baby girl in New Dehli, was raped by her 28-year-old cousin, who confessed to the horrific crime. The abuse resulted in external and internal injuries that were so severe, she required three hours of surgery.
The cousin was arrested and charged under the 2012 Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Act, also known as the POCSO Act.
The news of this incident resulted in a public outcry, and demonstrations demanding more police resources to address child abuse cases; faster prosecutions and harsher punishments for perpetrators.
Anuja Gupta, founder and head of India’s RAHI Foundation which focusses on women survivors of sexual abuse, said in 2015 that many parents are reluctant to admit abuse takes place within families, and described the under-reporting of cases as a “conspiracy of silence.”
I’m Fatima Mendez from UN News. I recently spoke via phone with Dr Yasmin Ali Haque, the UN Children’s Fund, or UNICEF Representative in India.
Dr Haque holds degrees in Medicine and Surgery, as well as Health Systems Management.
I started by asking her to outline UNICEF’s response to this latest incident in India.