NGOs best suited to tackle child abuse: Bhagwati


Panaji: NGOs are better suited than the administration and the police to fight the menace of child abuse as the bureaucracy is not sympathetic to the cause, former chief justice of India P.N. Bhagwati said here Tuesday.

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Speaking at the inauguration of Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN), a child rights NGO, Bhagwati said India had several well-meaning statutes dealing with the subject of children and child abuse but he admitted that most of them were hardly implemented.

“This is because the implementation is in the hands of those who do not have the welfare of people at heart,” he said, adding that it was this apathy which forced the judiciary to intervene in matters of implementation.

Bhagwati added legislation alone could not help redress the child abuse issue because for a large percentage of victims, justice was out of their reach.

“They have no means to access justice and their levels of awareness are also low,” he said, adding that this was a classic case for the NGOs to step in.

“Child welfare must be pursued by NGOs that have reach. Law is not the only way to solving child abuse issues. It can be stopped only through arousing the social conscience of the country. The whole nation should revolt against it,” he said.

Known as a world famous tourist destination, Goa has also emerged as a shady sex tourism hub over the last few decades.

India’s first organised paedophilia racket was busted here with the arrest of Freddy Peats in 1991. Peats, a European who had settled in Goa for several decades, was accused of trafficking minor children to paedophiles in Europe.