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Kailash Satyarthi raises awareness against attacks on children, says 'victims should get respect'

Hyderabad: Urging the government, media, film industry and others to raise awareness on the attacks against children, Nobel peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi Thursday said that girls who become victims should get respect, as they are not responsible for the abuse against them.

"The government, popular media, cinema and of course, social media ... especially nowadays, should take the lead in it and mainstream media. So, media has to play an important role," he said.

Satyarthi, who was in Hyderabad as part of his 'Bharat Yatra' against child sexual abuse and trafficking, told PTI, "I am working with educational institutions everywhere during the march. Industry is a very important partner. So, all have to come together."

Calling for a change in the "age old mindset" of victims and their families living in fear, he suggested that those who become "predators" against child victims should be socially boycotted.

"Finally, I would say that people who are responsible, may it be the family members, may it be an outsider, who turn predators, have to be socially boycotted. They should be named and shamed," he said.

The girls, who become victims should get respect, as they are not responsible for the abuse against them, he said. "Whereas the girls who are the victims, they should get respect because they are not responsible for that. Unfortunately in our society, the girls are stigmatised, and that should not happen. Because, no girl who is a victim, loses her dignity or her honour," he said.

The Nobel laureate said he is involving faith leaders to promote awareness as they have huge following. "The laws which are there have to be properly implemented. There is a strong law POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences). That is not properly being enforced. Last year, 15,000 cases were registered. Only four percent conviction, six percent acquittal and 90 per cent pendency.

"It will take 10 years to 40 years in different states to dispose of those cases. So, that has to be changed," Satyarthi said.

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