Child Rights Index shows Karnataka safest for kids

Thursday, 10 November 2011 – 9:00am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

Maharashtra had least number of infanticides, J&K least number of child murders, Jharkhand least number of child rape cases.

Going by the Child Rights Index (CRI) released by NGO Haq, it appears Karnataka is the best state for children to live in. The state has the least number of cases of crimeagainst children, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

Crimes against children included infanticide, murder, rape, kidnapping and abduction, foeticide, abetment of suicide, exposure and abandonment, buying and selling of minor girls for prostitution and child marriage.

Maharashtra had the least number of infanticides, Jammu & Kashmir had the least number of child murders, while Jharkhand had the least number of child rape cases. In contrast, Nagaland had the highest incidence of crime against children, and was ranked 29 while Delhi was 19. Delhi also had very high incidence of child rape after Goa and Nagaland.

Despite being ostensibly backward on social sector parameters, Bihar is ranked number 1 when it comes to crimes committed by children. It has the least number of such cases, while Manipur had the worst rank among all Indian states.

In the overall CRI, Kerala is on top followed by Karnataka (2), Maharashtra (3), Tamil Nadu (4) and Andhra Pradesh (5), Gujarat (6), Rajasthan (7). Madhya Pradesh ranked 11, Bihar 16, Uttar Pradesh 18 and Chhattisgarh 19 on child rights issues such as sex ratio, early childhood care, child marriage, child labour, education, health, crime against and by children.

The NGO’s report is based on government data — both central and state — which was collated and studied to decide the index. The results threw up some interesting information such as: Uttar Pradesh has the highest head count of working children in the country.

Despite its high literacy rate, Kerala was ranked last in gender equality in prevention of child marriages, and had a high percentage of girls (under 18) getting married.

On the other hand, West Bengal, which was the worst performing state in education, was also the worst performer in gender equality, and fared poorly in prevention of girl child marriages as well. Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu too were ranked poorly in child marriage.

Though poverty was one of the reasons for the continued prevalence of child marriages, it was not the case always, the report said. For instance, Maharashtra, one of the highest in economic growth, too was poorly ranked in child marriage. In fact, some of the poor states ranked high on the prevention of child marriage index. The best performers were Punjab, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.