In Nepal, many children fall victim to sexual abuse, such as rape and sexual harassment.
We can prevent sexual harassment of children through child sex education. Parents should teach their children about good touch and bad touch. Some parents may hesitate to talk to their children about sex, which is a mistake they are making.
Parents should talk to their children about differences between right and wrong, sexual development and sexual identity.
As they grow up, they better know about their body parts, changing body structure and much more.
As an advocate, I have delved into many child rape cases, and in most of the cases, minors are raped forcefully by adults, while in other cases, adults lure, coerce or threaten them into engaging in sexual activity.
Under section 66 of the Act relating to Children, 2075,it is an offense to use a child in the production of an obscene act and material; to touch, kiss, hold sensitive parts of body of him or her, embrace them with sexual intent or cause them to touch or hold sensitive parts of their own body or the body of another person or cause them to display their sexual organs; to use them for stimulating sexual lust or sexual excitement; to engage, or cause to engage, them in child sexual exploitation, sexual services and sexual abuse; to involve them in addictions such as smoking, drinking or gambling; to allow them to enter or use them in adult recreational facilities; to show them adult motion pictures or other audio-visual materials; and to inflict physical or mental punishment or behave in an undignified manner.
Section 72 of the Act has made provision for punishment to the offender, which is a prison term of 1-15 years or a fine of Rs 50,000 – Rs 500,000 depending on the offence committed. It is the duty of the concerned person to immediately inform the matter to the police.
Sometimes, one might hesitate to do, ashamed what society might think after knowing about the matter.
There is nothing to worry as the law has provisioned to keep the identity of the informant and victim confidential and has also provided for temporary protection of the victim's family, informant and victim.
So, inform the police immediately and fight against sexual harassment of children to protect their best interests.
Since prevention is better than cure, give your children sex education and don't hesitate to educate them about their basic rights to know and have better knowledge to defend themselves in the absence of a care-taker.
A version of this article appears in the print on April 16, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.