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India child sex victims 'ignored'

Feb. 7, 2013 at 8:04 AM

NEW DEHLI, India, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Human Rights Watch said India needs to reform protections for children from sexual abuse following the rape and murder of a student in New Dehli.

In a report released by the organization, "Breaking the Silence: Child Sexual Abuse in India," the organization says the government is failing to protect child and treat the victims.

Human Rights Watch conducted more than 100 interviews with victims of child sexual abuse as well as government officials and those who have handled cases of abuse, such as doctors and social workers.

In the final report released Thursday, the non-profit called for a reform of the criminal justice system.

"Children who bravely complain of sexual abuse are often dismissed or ignored by the police, medical staff, and other authorities," Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia Director of Human Rights Watch said.

Following the murder in New Dehli in December, the Indian government enacted the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses law, which makes sexual abuse a criminal offense in India for the first time and sets up guidelines for dealing with the issue.

But Human Rights Watch said without proper implementation of the act and training of police, doctors and the courts, it will be ineffective.

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