Showing posts with label Social Issue. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Social Issue. Show all posts

 INTRODUCTION

A society is a creation of social realities. Social reality is a culmination of both positive as well as negative aspects of life. One such negative factor that has created a sense of unrest in society and is relatively a recent phenomenon that received much-needed attention is child abuse. A social evil that is not just limited to a populous country like India but is prevalent in every society around the globe. Childhood is the essential phase of life. 
It knows no tension or anxiety, not even bad or good. It is a time of both obliviousness and innocence. Child abuse is any activity by someone who has reached a stage of maturity both in terms of age and mental capability, i.e. an adult or youngster that makes critical damage to a kid. Child abuse can result from emotional, physical, or sexual damage[1].

Economic stratification also leads to widespread cases of child abuse in the society where poverty strikes children are highly likely to fall into the trap of child abuse, therefore, there is a direct relationship between poverty and child abuse. There are various forms of child abuse. Child abuse can range from raping a child, torturing children at workplaces, severely beating them up at schools or homes to even employing children as child labor is a form of child abuse. The consequences of abuse are extremely deep and leave their imprints on the minds forever. Psychologically, a child is shattered but the actual pain is not felt at an initial stage, the outcomes as feelings that generate at later stages of life influence their perceptions about themselves and also of society. They often face long-term illness or even choose to end their lives as a result of seclusion from society.

The current study additionally attempts the results and preventive measures to curb child abuse. It is the obligation of the general public and the society at large to execute a primary prevention program, especially in families and schools to assist youngsters to grow and prosper in society with the right set of open mindset. Each part of a child's life should be acknowledged, esteemed, and valued by the child's parent and guardian. Any malfunction to the esteem or value system of any of these basics of the children psychosocial being included classes of child misuse and disregard[2]. In the recent decade, child abuse has surfaced very rapidly with growing intensity. The need for the hour is to stop this evil at any cost and educate society of the repercussions children to face in the long run. It's a burning issue of every society and society should consider the issue skeptically. Moreover, the right set of preventive measures, strategies can avoid child abuse worldwide.

CHILD ABUSE: A CONCEPT

Abuse is any type of conduct or act that is intentional to have authority over, threaten, intimidate, or hurt someone else. It is the misuse of an authority that the person has by means of being close to the victim, and negatively uses confidence and dependence of the victim to make the victim defenseless. Abuse can range from mental, sexual, emotional, monetary.

Child Abuse is any activity, conduct, and gestures by someone who is grown-up(adult) or child that makes extensive harm to a youngster. It tends to be physical, sexual or emotional, but can similarly as frequently be about an absence of love, care, and consideration. WHO (2002) characterizes child abuse and neglect in society, or child abuse, as all types of physical or emotional torture, sexual maltreatment, disregard or careless activity, or business or other abuse following in unmistakable or conceivable mischief to the kid's wellbeing[3].

Child - A child is a person with his or her own traits of personality or characteristics, living in the phase of development from birth and puberty. This phase provides them their mindsets, perceptions, and opinions. A child makes up that layer of the society that is the frailest, powerless, susceptible, and entirely reliant on grown-ups. It is the hardest reality to witness a situation where children end up in territories of cataclysmic events and calamities or zones of military battle activities and become the prisoners and survivors of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.

DIFFERENT FORMS OF CHILD ABUSE

There are various forms of child abuse, a few types are visible in society in the magnanimous form such as sexual abuse but there are some that are not completely evident in the public. Abusing the child through words, slap, beating, criticizing remarks pave a way for insecurity, low confidence, and loneliness among the children. Child abuse is present mainly in four forms in the social fabric.

● Emotional Abuse- According to American Humane, ‘Emotional abuse of a child is commonly defined as “a pattern of behavior by parents or caregivers that can seriously interfere with a child’s cognitive, emotional, psychological, or social development”[4]. Therefore, emotional abuse comes into existence when a child is neglected severely by isolating him or her, moreover, the psychological and social well-being is affected as a consequence. It includes criticizing, rejecting, degrading and discriminating, and terrorizing a child. Emotional abuse is present in almost every form as a consequence of other forms of child abuse. The result of such abuse is so severe that children also take steps such as suicides. Moreover, the child might enter a phase of depression, severe anxiety, nausea, and other psychological illness. Emotional abuse can also become a root cause for restricting a child’s emotional development, making it tougher for the child to express the feelings[5].

● Child Sexual Abuse- Sexual abuse is an exploitative sexual act done by an adult or other adolescent. It is a form of abuse where the adult or the adolescent is in a relationship of trust, dependence, or control with the (victim) child and uses the relationship in a negative manner. It includes physically coming in contact with the child, sexual intercourse, involving the children in pornographic activities, prostitution, or using the means of the internet to circulate any such activity that comes under the ambit of sexually abusing children.

● Physical Abuse- Physical abuse can be caused by punching, beating, kicking, shaking, gnawing, burning, or throwing the kid. Physical abuse may likewise result from excessive or improper discipline or brutality inside the family. Wounds to a child may shift in seriousness and range from minor bruising, welts or other marks, fractures of higher intensity, to its most outrageous form, the death of a child.

● Neglect might be Physical – inability to give important fundamental necessities of food, clothes, and shelter. Medical – failure to look for, get or finish medical care for the kid or Abandonment – leaving a kid in any circumstance without providing necessities of life to survive. Similarly, a lack of parental responsibility towards their children is also a clear sign of neglect.

CHILD ABUSE: IMPACT

The impact of physical abuse ranges from short-term effects to severe long-term impacts. Potential injuries to the bodies such as fractured bones, skin injuries, etc can be detrimental in the long run emotionally, psychologically and the change can be witnessed in behavior patterns too. Depression, anxiety disorders, drug use, and other mental illness have a direct link with physical child abuse.

Emotional abuse is a grave form of abuse that can cause such a great impact on a child’s life. There is a higher risk of developing mental illness, other health problems, self-harming tendencies, etc. One of the most significant consequences of emotional abuse is that due to lack of affection or care from elders, it becomes extremely difficult for the children to communicate, express, and maintain their relationships with others in society.

Child sexual abuse is the most severe form of child abuse which has long-term effects of severe intensity. The after-effects are basically a chronic neurological illness that creates a series of

negative situations. Guilt and shame become constants of their lives when society regards them with a secluded community.

Children who face neglect in their lives feel extremely heavy to balance social and personal lives. They are more likely to experience post-traumatic stress, depression and there is a high tendency of breaking the rules and regulations. They become highly egoistic and often face anger control problems.

Such a level of child abuse is detrimental to not just a child’s life but also to the nation’s future. A nation where everyone is protected under the rights of several freedoms has a current scenario where its youth and children are trapped in the cycle of various forms of child abuse.

LAW AND CHILD ABUSE

Article 14 and 15: Article 14 states that the state shall not deny any person equality before the law or equal protection of law within the territory of India. But Article 15 (3) expresses the fact that the state has the power to make special provisions for the upliftment of women and children in society.

Moreover, other articles mentioned in the constitution also provide a safeguard against such abuses in society.

Article 23 eliminates human trafficking and forced labor.

Article 24 prohibits the employment of children aged below 14 years in any hazardous factories, mines, or industries.

SIGNIFICANCE OF PROTECTING CHILDREN

Children are the purest form of living human creatures. At such a tender age, they lack a sense of maturity, which in turn makes them a fragile personality with no power to retaliate when they are hurt physically, psychologically, or sexually. They are at such a vulnerable phase of life that their innocence and incorruptibility lead them to a trap of various abuse on a daily basis. A child’s mind is an impressionable box of thoughts where people with perverted minds make use of children being dependent on them completely and lacking a sense of maturity by exploiting them in several forms of abuse.

ENSURING SAFETY

Role of Family: A family is the principal line of protection when it comes to a child's life. Guardians or different parental figures are answerable for building a protective and affectionate home climate. A child's learning and socialization are most impacted by their family since the family is the child's essential social gathering. It is the family which is dependable to deal with the essential requirements of a child and if the family neglects to care for the necessities of a child, it is the commitment of the local government to take care of the kid's welfare and childhood upbringing[6].

Role of other institutions: Children and youths spend an enormous segment of their time in school, which gives teachers more admittance to students than most different experts. For this very reason the expression "educator" is intended to incorporate not just the school educator, but other school faculty engaged with serving the child too. The educator can add to the expanded prosperity of children in a variety of ways. Positively, the principal factor of protection against the issue of child abuse is one of awareness ensured by schools and similar institutions[7].

Child abuse has taken the grip of society so firmly that it has become necessary to eliminate it. The effect of child abuse is overwhelming and it can seriously affect the advancement of the kid. Child abuse can influence each part of a person's life going from, physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development.

FACTORS CAUSING CHILD ABUSE

● Individual Risk Factors
1. Lack of communication about a child’s needs between parents and children.
2. Parental history of neglect, no affection, abuse, low education, and variation of economic conditions.
3. Perverted minds and emotions that justify such behavior of abuse.
● Family Risk
1. Social isolation becomes a major factor.
2. Depression history in the family with parents getting divorced also leads to child abuse.
● Community and Crisis Risk Factors
1. Violence at the community level.
2. Neighbourhood drawbacks such as high unemployment, low wages, and high poverty ratio even generates situations for child abuse to rise[8].

RIGHTS OF CHILDREN

The constitution of India was of a vision that children should have a bright future with comprehensive growth, development, upliftment, and protection. A society with fewer mortality rates of children and malnutrition. The constitution framers desired for a society with a good overall participation of children in the progress of the nation.

Therefore, policymakers specifically focused upon providing children with basic rights and privileges, hence, policies were generated to protect and safeguard the interests of a child.

CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION

The expression "PREVENTION " is regularly used to talk about an action that stops an activity or conduct. Research has discovered that effective child abuse intercessions must both lessen hazard factors and elevate protective components to ensure the prosperity of kids and families.

Protective factors are situations in families and networks that, when present, increase the well-being and prosperity of youngsters and families. They are credits that fill in as tools that help guardians who may somehow be in danger of abusing their children to discover assets, supports, or adapting methodologies that permit them to parent successfully, considerably under pressure too[9].

PROTECTION OF CHILD RIGHTS ACT, 2005

The act paved a way for the setting up of the National Commission for Protection of child rights, 2007. This body works under the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The function of this statutory body is to protect child rights and spread awareness about child abuse in society. Moreover, it provides redressal and rehabilitation to affected children.

PROTECTION OF CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL OFFENCES ACT,2012

The most significant law that revolves around child abuse in society is POCSO,2012. This act focuses upon child abuse, sexual harassment against children, and many related offenses into consideration. The act had set up special courts that cater to the needs and interests of children. They work upon child-friendly procedures for carrying out investigations [10].

CONCLUSION

Child abuse is a pervasive and complex problem prevailing not just in Indian society but also worldwide. The problem has reached prominent heights in the recent decade and the need of the hour is to immediately stop the increasing cases of child abuse across the world. Child abuse not just hinders the child's productivity but at the same time, vandalizes the cycle of socialization of the kid. It is subsequently necessitated that the general public stirs to the call of ensuring and improving their childhood. The developing complexities of life and the changed socio-economic conditions have presented the children with new and various types of abuse. In any case, the dismal condition of the cases is that such terrible acts are accounted for less.it is in this way necessitated that the general public stirs to the call of securing and upgrading their youth. This would not just permit more noteworthy interest of children in the cycle of advancement and development but will also advance for the greater good of the world's human progress.



[1] Irfan Fayaz, “Child Abuse: Effects and Preventive Measures”,The Indian Journal Of Psychology, 28th December,2020,https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334398542_Child_Abuse_Effects_and_Preventive_Measures.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Id.
[4] https://www.ukessays.com/essays/social-work/the-causes-and-effects-of-child-abuse-social-work-essay.php,(visited on 28th December,2020)
[5] Supra n. 4.
[6] Ibid
[7] https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/educator.pdf
[8] https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childabuseandneglect/riskprotectivefactors.html, visited on 29th December,2020)
[9] Child Welfare Information Gateway,Child Maltreatment Prevention: Past, Present, and Future, 2017,https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/overview/whatiscap/ , (visited on 29th December,2020)
[10] Amisha U. Pathak,Child Abuse in India – An Analysis, http://indiathink.org/Child-Abuse-in-India-An-Analysis-by-Amisha-u-Pathak.pdf, (visited on 30th December,2020).
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Author: Swastika Saxena

 INTRODUCTION:

We know that women are being exposed to violence since earlier centuries. At some or the other stage of their life, every woman has experienced injustice. Sometimes we get to know about it and sometimes we don’t. Domestic violence is one such crime that takes place in our society. May it is an elite, educated family or an illiterate household, some women still experience DV (Domestic Violence). Though women today are more independent and vocal about everything. They take a stand and they raise their voices against injustice. Still, some of them stay numb for different reasons.


Some for the society, some for their kids, some for their family and the reason goes on. Their silence gives courage to the wrongdoer. All this sometimes takes a brutal turn and leads to some permanent loss. We often come across such cases where the continuous violence by a husband towards his wife takes a dangerous turn. Not only in under-developed or developing countries but also in developed countries domestic violence is a really common crime. According to a survey conducted by the Thompson Reuters Foundation in 2018 [1], it was concluded that India is the most dangerous country for women among 193 United Nations member states. In this article, I will be talking about the definition, forms, and effects of domestic violence. The article will also be discussing the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 [2] followed by the conclusion at the end.

DEFINITION:

The crime of domestic violation takes place where partners are in intimate relationships and families. Studies show that domestic violence is characterized by repetitive acts and patterns of dominance. The wrongdoer is often found undermining and exercising power over their weaker counterpart. They include different tactics like intimidation, isolation.

In such cases, the victims are often traumatized and most often they go through domestically violent situations like lack of financial resources, fear, shame, to protect children, isolation, or power and control.[3] John Hopkins School of Public Health conducted a study and it was found that one out of three women all over the world is exposed to some sort of physical and sexual abuse.

Most of the time, the DV cases mention that wife battered beyond recognition yet the victims are often found silent and secretive about it and choose to say nothing but to suffer alone.

FORMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE:

Domestic Violence can be classified into different types. The frequency, severity, and purpose can differ in all types. It can include physical aggression and assault like biting, kicking, slapping, shoving, etc. or threats; sexual abuse; controlling; economic deprivation; criminal coercion; kidnapping; harassment, etc. some of the types are-

1. PHYSICAL – Physical violence includes some kind of contact with the body or some bodily harm. The main purpose of physical abuse is to create fear or give pain or bodily harm to the weaker partner in order to control them. Strangulation, acid attack, and dowry death are some of the kinds of physical abuse.

Talking about strangulation, it is one the most lethal forms of DV. In recent years, strangulation has attracted the most attention towards it. In most cases, we find that the cause of the victim’s death is strangulating her throat.

It is no surprise that in India, most of the cases of domestic violence comes under the act of dowry death. Bride burning or dowry death is the crime where the married women is killed by the husband or for that matter, by the husband’s family because of their greed and dissatisfaction over the money provided by the bride’s family in the form of dowry. Hence, we can say that this crime is the result of prolonged demands for dowry after the marriage. Though today, offering and accepting of dowry is illegal still there are women who are losing their life for some meagre sum of money.

After further research into the topic, I’ve found that women are most likely to get abused during pregnancy. A long-lasted abuse can turn into a more severe crime and can result in some negative effect to the health of the mother or her un-born child.[4] Miscarriage, low birth weight babies, fetal injuries, or even death can happen because of this grave crime. Studies also show that child-birth is not likely to be the end of this act. It can even continue after the birth of the child.

2. EMOTIONAL – Emotional violence or psychological violence is the form of domestic violence where one person subjects another person to the risk of psychological trauma which consists of anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Emotional abuse consists of threats, isolation, public humiliation, stalking, and coercive control. The victims of emotional domestic violence feel as if they are under the total control for their partners which results in empowering the abuser and disempowering the victim. This results in the victim being depressed. This ends up destroying the other person psychologically. Studies show that emotional abuse can tend to destroy one’s personal life physically, psychologically, and financially.

3. ECONOMIC – Financial abuse or economic abuse is the one where one partner has full control over the finances of the other partner. It may include the abuser limiting the resources of their spouse or exploiting those economic resources. This increases the dependence of the victim over their spouse which eventually results in weakening the position of the victim in their relationship.

This gives the complete upper hand to the abuser. Arguments related to money may result in heated disagreements which could give rise to retaliation with aggressive physical, sexual or psychological abuse. In most cases, the victim of domestic abuse can be seen as being fully dependent for their survival or for that matter, for the survival of their children. According to the studies, when victims are asked about why they suffer and stay in an abusive relationship, “lack of money or financial instability” comes as a common response.

EFFECTS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE:

1. ON CHILDREN – Children who experience domestic violence at home get highly disturbed. According to the studies, children who are exposed to domestic violence during their upbringing have a high risk of developing mental and physical health problems.

Such children may start getting afraid of every other thing or may go silent. They find themselves alone and stop sharing their feelings with others. Emotional insecurity, depression, and mental health can be the result of traumatic experiences. It has been seen that children who experience their mother being abused in front of them are more likely to show symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) [5]. Such an environment is not found to be healthy for children to grow.

2. PHYSICAL – Arthritis, migraine, pelvic pain and chronic pain are some of the medical health issues associated domestic violence. Apart from that broken bones, head injuries and internal bleeding are the most common health issues. Victims who experience domestic violence during their pregnancy are exposed to higher risk of miscarriage and injury to or death of the fetus. In some cases, physical injuries caused due to domestic violence even lead to the death of the victim.

3. PSYCHOLOGICAL – It is obvious that the victims of domestic violence, who were exposed to such inhumanity, suffers with depression, stress, and fear. Among all, depression is the most common symptom which often leads to the suicide of the victim. It is reported that among these women, 60% of them fulfill the criteria of for depression, either during or after the termination of their marriage. These women are also the victims of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD includes flashbacks from the past, nightmares, and intrusive images.

PROTECTION OF WOMEN FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT, 2005:

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 was enacted to protect women from domestic violence. This act was brought into force by the Indian government and Ministry of Women and Child Development from 26th November, 2006. The rules and regulations under this act are mentioned in section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The aggrieved party is defined by this act as “any woman who is, or has been, in a domestic relationship with the respondent and who alleges to have been subjected to domestic violence by the respondent."

The objective of the DV act says “An Act to provide for more effective protection of the rights of women guaranteed under the Constitution who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the family and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.” [6] This act was primarily meant to provide protection to married woman from her husband or the female live-in partner from the male live-in partner. But was later extended to protecting women living in a household like sisters, widows or mothers. [7]

CONCLUSION:

Every individual has a right to live with dignity and deserves basic honor and respect. Domestic Violence shows the patriarchal nature of the society where women are given the second position and are treated with disregard. After reading about this crime, one can say that this shows the sick mentality of the abuser. The problem of domestic abuse is deep-rooted.

The first step to combat this heinous crime is to start from home. Parents should try and instill the feeling of equality in their children. It is important that one consider their counterpart as their equals. Every individual should try and make a change, the society will change itself.

We live in the 21st century. The age of change. It is high time that we raise our voices against all the injustices happening to ourselves or others. Acknowledging this issue is the need of the hour because silence gives nothing but harm. Domestic violence has no one is our society and the one promoting this should be dealt with utter strictness.

FOOTNOTES:

1. https://d.docs.live.net/7ffa58f9c713afee/Documents/Domestic%20Violence.docx
2. https://d.docs.live.net/7ffa58f9c713afee/Documents/Domestic%20Violence.docx
3. Dutton, Donald; Painter, S.L. (January 1, 1981). "Traumatic bonding: The development of emotional attachments in battered women and other relationships of intermittent abuse". Victimology.
4. Johnson, J.K.; Haider, F.; Ellis, K.; Hay, D.M.; Lindow, S.W. (March 2003). "The prevalence of domestic violence in pregnant women".
5. Lehmann, Peter John (1995). Children who witness mother-assault: an expander post-traumatic stress disorder conceptualization (MA thesis). Wilfrid Laurier University.
6. Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
7. "Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act". evaw-global-database.unwomen.org. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
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Author: Ananya Tewari





























































 Introduction

Spousal abuse is another name for domestic violence. Spousal abuse is abuse, humiliation, harassment on the part of one spouse to another spouse which is also named domestic violence. In India, most of the cases of domestic violence/spousal abuse are registered against the male spouse (husband). causing hurt, injury, or danger to life, health, safety whether mental or physical with or without in relation to dowry demand is called cruelty. 

According to research in India, all the domestic abuses are done with females/wives. Domestic abuse is a type of cruelty that is done by a husband or his family on women (wife/daughter-in-law). Cruelty in the way of physical torture, mental torture, emotional torture that the women will not be able to handle anymore and will result in suicide or petition for divorce. In India every year 300 women file a report against their husband or his family for torturing them. 

Most of the cases are in the demand of dowry, where a husband or his family tortures the woman for dowry which can also result in her death. Spousal abuse is not only because of dowry it can be for any reason like where a husband or his family wanted a boy child and women give birth to a girl child, under these circumstances, I have few words to say, but this also is not up to women or anyone, no one can decide the gender of the baby while conceiving a baby, you can not predict until you get tested for the same which is illegal you can not try for gender revelation test because due to this most of the family torture women to abort the baby or give her such things which will result in a miscarriage of women. This is a type of domestic violence and it is illegal to do so. Even you can not abort a child after 5/6 months of pregnancy without a valid reason. There are so many cases where women abused by a husband or his family.
 
Different type of spousal abuse are:-
1. Physical Abuse
2. Sexual Abuse
3. Emotional Abuse or Verbal Abuse
4. Economic Abuse

PHYSICAL ABUSE

It is a kind of abuse where a spouse abuses his wife physically, when a man is aggressive in nature or say psycho one then it can result in any type of torture. Physical abuse is a kind of physical torture where a husband with use of something (like a knife, bat, stick, etc.) or without the use of these things with a slap or blow torture his wife for any reason whether it is for a boy child/psychic nature/aggressive nature/ or many more reasons like if he has extramarital affair with other women and he doesn't want to spread this news and on the other hand wanted to get rid of his wife or say for dowry demand, in the affection of drugs, etc. you can identify a woman who is going through with this kind of tortures because you can see bruises on her body or say marks on her body which can only be resulted as brutal torture by someone. It can result in er death, or she can also commit suicide because most of the women don't have enough courage to tell anyone in society.

SEXUAL ABUSE

Sexual abuse is a kind of torture of someone sexually. Where a husband torture his wife sexually this can include marital rape which is the biggest issue nowadays. It is illegal in nature. Husband always thinks that he is a dominating member in the relationship, he is married to her and he has all the rights to make physical intercourses or say physical relation with his wife. But it is not correct, whether you married or not there should be a consent of women is considered in making physical relation with her. Due to the marital status, it is considered marital rape, where a husband forcefully makes physical relations with her wife without her consent. Another example of this is when a husband gives his wife to someone for making physical relations with another guy without er consent it is illegal to work and sexual abuse.

EMOTIONAL ABUSE OR VERBAL ABUSE

Verbal abuse is a kind of abuse where a husband abuses his wife with his words verbally. This is a case where a husband torture woman by his words like calling her a slut, whore, submissive, prostitute, etc. in this kind of abuse offensive words against her and her family included which is mental torture for her. Emotional abuse is a kind of abuse where a husband emotionally blackmails his wife or say restricts her to go out for a job or anything else.

ECONOMIC ABUSE

Economic abuse is a kind of abuse where a husband abuses her wife by confining her into the house and restrain her to go out and where a husband doesn't give food or living needs to her wife and her child mostly girl child. It can result in malnutrition for both children and women. And can be result in the death of them. These are some kinds of spousal abuse which are used by the husband on her wife for many reasons.

CAUSES OF SPOUSAL ABUSE

A. There are several cases registered where a spouse abuses his wife for dowry, under which a husband torture his wife for dowry (demand of money) and when a wife disagrees or say is not able to provide him with sufficient dowry he becomes aggressive and tortures her in any way until she doesn't fulfill his needs even the husband and his family too try to kill her. Whenever there is a death of women occurs by fire or any such serious way within the 7 years of her marriage it is generally considered as dowry death which is prohibited by law.

B. Another cause of abuse, where a husband miss treat his wife just because he wanted a boy child and she gave birth to the girl child. There is a mentality of most of the citizens in our country that there should be a boy child in a family whenever someone get married the society or even family members wanted a baby boy because they believe only a son can continue their vansh, not a girl. Due to which so many women get abused by husband for the same.

C. Some of the husbands are psycho in nature or say they have a problem of trust which may result in cruelty or abuse. Some of the men have serious trust issues that they started following his wife everywhere even they stalk her in every possible way which will affect their married life. Due to this if a woman is normally talking to someone husband gets aggressive and tortured her which is another kind of spousal abuse.

D. Some reasons are where men have extramarital affair and he wanted to leave the wife by laming her or say by verbally announce in the society that she is the one who cheated him and that's why he is leaving her just to save his image in the society. Wich will result in the defamation and abuse of women. Abuse in the sense that they even try to kill or torture her to that extent which will result in her death.

E. Religious factor is where women get abused in the name of religion like in some of the villages there is still a religion of sati pratha where women get burned alive if their husband died before her.
HOW TO KNOW HE IS ABUSIVE

Let's see now how to analyze wether he is abusive or not there are some ways to identify:-

i. Abusers want commitment very quickly they don't want to delay in any type of thing whether taking decisions or whether wanting to know something from you.
ii. He uses abusive words frequently and doesn't have control over his exes and if happens investigate further. If they try to blame you instead and false claims just don't take another chance.
iii. In a relationship we all need equal support and respect if he doesn't trust you he will never respect you which may be result in further abuse. He started maliciously treat you around others and no man would ever do that if he loves you.
iv. He wanted to dominate you, he started treated you like you are his slave and he is the boss of your life.
v. Try to slap you and ever physically abuse you, etc.

Before getting married to someone be sure to have full information about him like his nature, behavior, status in society, is he ever get abused in his childhood because most of the 50 % abuser has a history of childhood abuse, etc. hence, a person is only earnt these things from his parents one should never torture women respect her if you want her in your life.

IMPACT OF SPOUSAL ABUSE ON A WOMEN

The impact of spousal abuse on women is worst to the extent you never know. One should always respect a woman because she is the one who always makes a house into a home and even men have their mother or sister how will he feel if someone does the same to them. The impact of abuses on women is so bad that she will become so depressed that she even end up trying suicide. She has no enough courage to tell someone because she thinks she is a woman and a mother of a child if she gets divorced or tells someone the society people will never treater her in the way they treat her now. But this is wrong no one should judge a woman who is suffering that much. We are in a modern world but there are so many people here who think divorced women have a bad character why? Did you ever try to know her side of the case or you only judge her? Never judge a book by its cover you don't know how much someone suffers and your words can even hurt them the most.

Respect women and take care of them......

Author: HITAKSHI MAGGO, FAIRFIELD INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT AND TECHNOLOGY

INTRODUCTION

In the backdrop of the recent development in assisted reproductive techniques (ART), surrogacy is yet another alternative for the couple who cannot reproduce due to infertility. Surrogacy is a method whereby one woman bears and gives birth to a child and hands over the child to the couple after birth

  1.  The practice of surrogacy has been prevalent in India for a few decades now but no stringent legislation was brought into play to regulate this vulnerable industry. Surrogacy, which was considered a boon to the intending couple was used as a means of exploitation. There have been reported incidents of unethical practices, exploitation of surrogate mothers, abandonment of children born out of Surrogacy, and import of human embryos and gametes.
  2.  Initially, surrogacy was viewed in the parlance of ‘Rent a Womb’ practice making India one of the largest hub of surrogacy which brought with itself various paradoxes.
  3.  According to a 2012 study by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the size of India’s surrogate motherhood industry was US Dollar 2 billion a year. Surrogacy in India was viewed as a ‘survival strategy’ wherein mostly the poor and illiterate women, who even fail to understand the contents of the contracts, are trapped in this vicious circle. In the light of widespread dissent to the surrogacy practice, efforts were taken by the government time and again. The need to introduce well-drafted legislation on surrogacy, The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2020 (hereinafter referred to as The Bill), being one of them, is the need of the hour which would curb the rampant exploitation in the industry while creating a harmonious balance between the human rights and justice.

PROMINENT CONTENTIONS OF SURROGACY (REGULATION) BILL 2020

The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 was passed in the Lok Sabha on 5th August 2019 which was later submitted to the Select Committee for examining the bill. The Surrogacy Bill 2020 is the amended version of the Select Committee which is approved by the union cabinet but awaiting Rajya Sabha to pass the same followed by assent by the president.

The Bill proposes to put a complete ban on commercial surrogacy while encouraging and restricting itself to altruistic surrogacy only. Cross-borders surrogacy did not find its place in the bill, making the practice of surrogacy available only for legally wed couples living in India, widows, or divorcees. It establishes regulatory bodies which will be responsible for the protection of the rights of the stakeholders. The Bill lays down not only the procedure and the rules to be followed by the interested parties but also talks about the eligibility criteria of the intending parties.

Although, the Bill is a welcoming step there are several grey areas that need to be refined further. Some of them include:

1. BAN ON COMMERCIAL SURROGACY

One of the most significant initiatives which were undertaken through this act was to put a complete ban on commercial surrogacy. In the words of Mr. Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister “The Bill is aimed at banning commercial surrogacy and allowing altruistic surrogacy”. With the ban on commercial surrogacy, associated surrogacy like fashion surrogacy which was merely a matter of convenience and not one of necessity will also be removed from India. This step can prima facie clampdown illegal practices, but the true fact remains that it only provides for backdoor illegal methods. Instead of reducing unethical practices, banning commercial surrogacy will end up creating a parallel spectrum of illegal activities.4

Commercial surrogacy was a means of livelihood to many poor and illiterate women who would rent out their wombs and earn a handful of income. Banning such surrogacy would render many lives at stake. In 2005-2006, the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) anticipated that profits from the surrogacy industry would reach USD 6 billion in the coming years from about 7,000-8,000 surrogacy clinics in India.5 The main objective of the Bill is to hinder the commercial racket wherein these women are persuaded to be surrogate mothers who are then exploited due to unethical practices which include non-payment, no provision for insurance, or post-pregnancy medical and psychiatric support.6 But the Bill should not make society more economically vulnerable. Thus, the Bill should support both commercial and altruistic surrogacy with proper regulations imposed. Social and economic development, both should prevail in the domain of surrogacy. 7

Moreover, the Bill encompasses certain monetary benefits to the surrogate mothers namely the insurance coverage, medical expenses, and other prescribed expenses. There lies a contradiction in the fact that including the term ‘prescribed expenses’, the bill is not exhaustive and has left the option for providing compensation.

2. DEFINITION OF INFERTILITY

Before the changes were made in the Surrogacy Bill 2019, the definition of infertility meant “the inability to conceive after five years of unprotected coitus or other proven medical condition preventing a couple from conception”8 The Select Committee was of the view that five years was an unreasonably long time for the intending couple to choose surrogacy especially in cases where it is proven that surrogacy is the only option for having one’s own child. Thereafter, amendments were made and the Bill of 2020 read infertility as a “medical indication”. This term brought about much dissent as it held upon a stigmatic resemblance. It not only includes infertility but other medical aspects as well which would in one way or the other label the parties. Thus, the term remains unclarified and erred in the positive shift of the legislative definition.

3. ELIGIBILITY OF THE PARTIES

The Bill is said to widen the scope of eligibility of the intending couple by including ‘intending women’ who are either divorced or is a widow. However, the Bill excludes unmarried men or women, homosexuals, and people living in ‘live-in’ relationships. This calls for blatant discrimination prevalent on the face of it. Where on one hand we talk about strengthening the rights of the LGBTQ community, on the other hand, we indulge in autocratic methods thereby discriminating against the community without any rational excuse. This clearly shows that the bill excludes a substantial chunk of the population from availing a practice due to vague reasons, thereby indirectly forcing them to resort to illegal methods.9

The ambit of a surrogate mother is no more restricted to ‘close relative’, it further includes any ‘willing women’ aged 25-35 years. The Select Committee viewed this practice as not only pragmatic but also no connection could be found with the objective of the Bill to curb exploitation. Thus, by widening the scope of getting surrogate mothers outside the realm of close relatives would encourage the intending couple to opt especially when in dire need.

4. OTHER REQUIREMENTS

The Bill further requires the intending parties to undergo the laid down procedure of providing with the certificate of essentiality and certificate of eligibility of surrogacy. The certificate should indicate the medical condition of the intending parties this act brandishes the intending couple and creates an astigmatic view in the society. In addition to that, the right to privacy of the parties is breached which is a matter of concern for the implementation of the legislation.

While considering the positive amendment brought about to the Bill, insurance coverage for 6 months is provided to the surrogate mothers, thereby, protecting their rights and preventing them from being exploited by the party at power. This insurance would cover all the medical expenses including any emergency complication expenses.

The Bill also talks about the legitimacy of the child. It clearly specifies that the child born out of surrogacy procedure will be deemed to be the biological child of the intending couple.

CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTIONS

There is no doubt that the Surrogacy Bill 2020 is a unique blend of social, moral, ethical, legal, and scientific issues and that it provides for effective methods to protect the rights of all the interested parties but, the legislation lacks clarity and unambiguity. The Bill proposes to put a blanket ban on commercial surrogacy and restricts it to altruistic surrogacy only. The facts remain that altruistic surrogacy institutes forced labor.10 A surrogate mother is expected to undergo physical and mental turmoil and put her life on hold just to bear a baby out of compassion. In such situations, surrogate mothers choose not to bear a child for the intending couple. In my opinion, the law should set a middle ground that encourages commercial surrogacy while also sticking to ethical or altruistic surrogacy.

The Bill should include a more conclusive definition of the term infertility which is not stigmatic in its essence. Rather than brandishing a person with a medical indication and scarring the person for life, the definition should be wholesome and acceptable to society.

Inclusion of parties like the LGBTQ community or unmarried people, to the eligibility criteria for enjoying the blessing of a child, should be undertaken. The Bill should be unbiased and non-discriminatory. Confining the legislation merely to the couple and the intending divorced or widowed women will not serve the objective of the Bill.

The Bill is a step forward to a more civilized and a developed nation that strives to create a balance in the inherent interests and rights of the interested parties. It cannot be argued that the existence of legislation such as this is a boon to the country but, it can surely be amended further to achieve finesse and cover every grey area. The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2020 is one such step that would succumb to the potential exploitation of surrogate mothers and protect the rights of the child and the mother.
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Author: Somya Jain, Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies.

Introduction

Although the development and up-gradation of technologies throughout the world have helped humans to grow and eased their work, it also has some shortcomings and is used widely to fulfill wrong or immoral objectives. Recently the honorable supreme court in the case of Rekha Sengar Versus State of Madhya Pradesh[1] upheld the decision of the high court of Madhya Pradesh dismissing the anticipatory bail request filed by a person accused of illegal medical practices of sex­ selective abortion and observed that pre­natal sex ­determination is a grave offense with serious consequences for the society as a whole.

In a country where people worship goddesses and women are believed to be the incarnation of the goddess, girls are thought to be mere liabilities for the family and treated differently from their counterparts, practices like above are still prevalent. The worsening of sex ratio in many parts mainly the rural parts of our country indicates the practice of “sex selection” and strengthens the above hypothesis.

What is sex selection?

Sex selection is the process of controlling reproduction and using scientific technologies to achieve the baby of the desired sex. It can be done with both pre-and post-implantation of an embryo and with the emergence of new technologies it could be done even at childbirth. One of the methods of sex selection is sex determination before childbirth. In the centuries-old Indian traditional patriarchal societies, the birth of a girl child is thought of as a burden on the family and is not a cause of celebration. Because of this, illegal practices like abortion of a baby after identifying the gender of the child or even female infanticide takes place even today in many parts of India.

Laws against sex selection in India

Sex selection is strictly prohibited in India under Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 2003, and is commonly called PC-PNDT Act. However, the first act against sex selection came in 1996 but was not very effective as it didn’t prohibit the technique of preconception sex selection, but in September 2001 with the PIL filed by Mahila Sarvangeen Utkarsh Mandal and Dr. Sabu George, the supreme court passed an order for strict implementation of the law and included it within the ambit of the act. According to a study In 2011, the UP alone killed 1.5 lack unborn girls a year but the conviction rate of criminals was very low, and between 2003 and 2014 there were only 206 doctors convicted[2]. The state of world population report[3] released in 2020 also reciprocated the above study and indicated that around 140 million women are missing throughout the world as a result of sex selection processes taking place in the medical market. Out of them, India compromises 45.8 million females. The above cases indicate that the act is still not capable of stopping the practice completely and other methods should also be opted to prevent these kinds of practices.

History of sex selection in India

Sex selection is not a new wrong that has emerged from nowhere, the census data shows that there were huge differences in sex ratio observed from the beginning of the 20th century. The emergence of brahmins resulted in the lowering of the value of girls and women in society[4]. They advocated many customs for example putting the fire on the funeral of fathers only by the sons etc which were not gender-neutral. Because of their thoughts and rituals, the preference of the son in the households spread and dominated the society. In the past because of the absence or lack of access to technologies like sperm sorting or in-vitro fertilization, females in these kinds of societies were killed just after birth, at the hands of their own families. This has only slightly improved with the census 2011 data but is still unfavorable to women. According to it, the sex ratio in India is 940 women for 1000 men, which is considered a relatively very poor score[5].

Causes and consequences

One of the main causes for the prevalence of sex selection is the low value of girls and thinking that girls are a burden on the families and will not able to carry forward the family name. The old thinking that the birth of a girl child would also attract paying dowry and would deeply affect the socio-economic position of the parents was also one of the reasons for “sex selection” and preference of sons.

Such traditions had consequences like signs of “marriage squeeze” which resulted in sexual violence, human trafficking, or abandoning of the girl child. In many of the cases, the girl child was deprived of future opportunities and was treated very badly by their family. These poor conditions although not visible in metropolitical cities can be easily encountered in small and rural districts where people are not educated enough to understand the importance of women and girl children.

Another consequence of this practice is “gender imbalance”. Because of sex selection mainly in economically poor families, men who reach adulthood are majoritarily of low socio-economic class and face the problem of lack of marriageability. This results in antisocial behavior, violence, and in some cases threatening societal stability and security[6].

Solutions

The usual solution for preventing this practice was outlawing “sex selection” and making it illegal. However, this solution is not the ideal one and could result in the establishment of certain underground and black markets for the practice of “sex selection”. In addition to this, as seen in many countries like South Korea and China, the ban is difficult to implement and has a low level of impact as a deterrence mechanism.

According to the present circumstances, it is better to provide education to people mainly from rural and poor strata of the society and educate them on the importance of gender equality. The women in society should be empowered and taught to raise their voices and fight the old thinking of some people.
The laws should be made more stringent and authorities should closely monitor and arrest organizations or people who are undertaking any illegal and underground practices of “sex selection”.

Besides, all the duties government should undertake to achieve a society with no sex selection practices, We as human beings also have a duty to prevent these immoral practices. Everyone should take responsibility and stand firmly against these social evils and fight them in order to achieve gender equality in the true sense. According to me, debates should be undertaken against “Sex selection” which would help to tell the proponents, who believe they should have a right to choose their children’s gender, that this could result in havoc in the future in the face of gender imbalance.

One of the most important solutions for preventing “sex selection” could be “gender sensitization[7]”. We should teach people that it is fine for a male to play with dolls, or crying because of any pain or for a female to play rough sports and wear whatever they want. Society should not make a taboo and judge a particular gender on their physical behavior. This will help in achieving gender neutrality in society and establish that there are no gender-specific roles and therefore no need for any specific gender for any specific job.

Conclusion

Even after 73 years of independence India is still lacking behind to achieve equity in the social sphere and is facing problems of gender discrimination. It is therefore imperative to ensure the better working of laws and spreading the teachings of gender sensitization to the grassroots levels.
Although immoral practices are still not curbed fully, slowly, and steadily we are moving to the future of no gender biases and no such processes. International organizations like UNFPA are also working on this and in 2017 have launched Global Programme to Prevent Son Preference and Gender-Biased Sex Selection and fight gender inequalities.

In the end, I would like to cite a report from the National Commission on Population[8] under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare who said that our country’s population would be more feminine by 2036. This report was based on the efforts of the government to promote the value of girl child and awareness generated in the minds of people. With the correct mindset and support of people in our country, we can achieve this dream of gender sensitization and equality at a faster rate and get be free from practices of “sex selection”

[1] Rekha Sengar v. State of Madhya Pradesh, LL 2021 SC 51.
[2] www.kimshealth.org, https://www.kimshealth.org/trivandrum/blog/sex-determination-in-india-illegal-and-fatal/ (last visited March 2, 2021.)
[3] https://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/UNFPA_PUB_2020_EN_State_of_World_Population.pdf
[4] Bandyopadhyay S, Singh A. History of son preference and sex selection in India and in the west. Bulletin of the Indian Institute of History of Medicine (Hyderabad). 2003 Jul-Dec;33(2):149-167
[5] https://censusindia.gov.in/2011-prov-results/data_files/india/Final_PPT_2011_chapter5.pdf
[6] Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Sep 2006, 103 (36) 13271-13275; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0602203103
[7] Browne, Tamara. (2016). The problem with sex selection. O&G magazine. 18. 38.
[8] https://censusindia.gov.in/2011-prov-results/data_files/india/Final_PPT_2011_chapter8.pdf
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Author: Vaibhav Kesarwani

 Introduction

In India, prisons and their administration is a state subject protected by item 4 of the State List in the Constitution's Seventh Schedule. Prison management and administration fall solely within the jurisdiction of the governments of the state and are regulated by the Prisons Act, 1894 and the Prison Manuals of the respective governments of the state. “The history of prisons in India and elsewhere clearly reflects the changes in society’s reaction to crime from time to time.

The system of imprisonment represents a curious combination of different objectives of punishment. Thus, prison may serve to deter the offender or it may be used as a method of retribution or vengeance by making the life of the offender miserable and difficult.”

The federal government helps states strengthen prison security, rebuild and renovate old jails, improve medical services, establish borstal schools, provide facilities for women inmates, provide vocational training, modernize prison industries, train prison officers, and construct high-security enclosures.[i] “In its judgments on various aspects of prison administration, the Supreme Court of India has defined 3 general principles relating to imprisonment and custody. Firstly, an inmate does not become a non-person in jail. Secondly, under the limits of incarceration, a person in prison is entitled to all human rights.”

“It is important to remember that various punishments are to be dealt with by prison prisoners because universal punishment can hardly serve the interests of justice for any of them. As a result, inmates must be divided into various groups based on the severity of their crime and the duration of their sentence. A pre-condition for an optimal penal program is the proper classification of criminals for the purpose of treatment.

A. THE PROBLEM OF OVERCROWDING IN PRISONS

In most parts of India, jails are considered to be overcrowded. Overcrowding has the detrimental effect of eliminating segregation between convicts who have been convicted for serious and minor offenses.[ii] As a result, hardened offenders will be able to gain leverage over other inmates. Juvenile offenders detained in prisons due to a lack of alternative places to confine them come into contact with hardened criminals and are more likely to become professional offenders. “It is against this backdrop that the issue of prison overcrowding must be discussed in earnest. The All India Committee on Jail Reforms, chaired by Justice A.N. Mulla, listed different types of remission in its report (1980-83) and made valuable recommendations to streamline India's remission system. In its 78th Report (1979), India's Law Commission made several recommendations for reducing prison overcrowding. Liberalization of bail conditions, especially the release of certain categories of undertrials on bail, is one of these suggestions. Overcrowding may also be minimized by releasing an inmate on parole after completing a portion of his term. The system of remission, leaves and premature release may also be useful in tackling the problem of overcrowding in prison institutions. Another move toward reducing prison overcrowding is to keep Lok Adalats in prison to expedite the disposition of undertrials charged with minor offenses carrying a term of fewer than two years.”

B. THE PROBLEM OF PRISON DISCIPLINE

The topic of prison discipline has always piqued the interest of criminologists all over the world. The main purpose of prisonisation is undeniably negative in that it seeks to instill a disdain for criminal life among society's members, with the goal of deterring people from engaging in actions that might contribute to their imprisonment. The majority of prison staff is untrained and lacks advanced training in their profession.[iii] “While the rigors of prison life are greatly mitigated by the modern facilities available to prisoners, they are likely to become impatient if not kept under proper discipline. One might be imprisoned either for the purpose of custody, control, and discipline or from being prevented to escape or being sent to a correctional institution for treatment. Another concern that prison administrators often face is protecting against the threat of a prison riot, which is essentially the product of prisoners working together. This idea was entirely ruled out in the early days when inmates were held in separate cells and had no means of interacting with one another in the modern sense.”

C. THE PROBLEM OF CRIMINALITY IN PRISONS

Yet another problem relating to prison discipline concerns criminality among inmates inside the prison. The continuous long absence from normal society and detachment from members of the family deprives the inmates of their sex gratification which is one of the vital biological urges of human life. Since they are unable to control their sexual urges, inmates often turn to unnatural acts such as homosexuality and sodomy. To combat this danger, some advanced countries have allowed prisoners to have occasional conjugal visits in order to give them a legal way to fulfill their sexual desires and thereby eradicate crimes of this nature in prisons. “In terms of marital relationships between partners, the Indian prison system does not embrace the principle of conjugal visits since the system of furlough and parole serves a more useful function. Apart from that, such conjugal visits are not permissible due to moral and ethical considerations in light of Indian values and cultural norms.”

D. THE LACK OF LEGAL AID

“In India, legal assistance is only available to those who cannot afford to employ an attorney during the trial, not when the detainee is taken to the remand court. Since the vast majority of inmates, both in custody and in prison, have never been prosecuted, the lack of legal assistance before the point of trial significantly diminishes the importance of the country's legal representation system for the disadvantaged. Lawyers are unavailable at a time when many of them are most in need of support. The Mulla Committee also noticed that the majority of prison prisoners come from economically deprived families, which may be due to their failure to secure a bail bond.”

E. THE PROBLEM OF PRISONERS’ HEALTH

The well-being of inmates is another critical concern that requires the attention of prison officials. The word "state of health" refers to the new entrants' past and current suffering from illness, as well as the period and care they got. To resolve the issue of prisoners suffering from serious diseases, volunteers may be trained in prison nursing so that they can better support the suffering inmates and establish a system of self-help for disease prevention such as tuberculosis or AIDS.

“The High Court of Madhya Pradesh, in Anil Kumar v. State of M.P., enumerated the factors which account for an increase in the number of prisoners exposed to infection of tuberculosis in prisons. They are as follows:-
1. Delay in diagnosis, neglect of prisoner’s health problems, insufficient health services in prison and inadequate sputum smear microscopy facilities.
2. Failure of medical services to refer T.B. suspects for diagnosis or to initiate timely treatment.
3. Transfer of prisoners with infectious tuberculosis between and inside prisons.
4. Overcrowding and prolonged confinement inside cells.
5. Failure to segregate infectious cases from other prisoners.
6. Sub- standard treatment resulting in failure to cure patients and prolonged infectiousness.
7. Poor ventilation and poor nutrition may also lead to a cause of disease.”

CONCLUSION

Despite India's huge prison population, there is a complete lack of published research on the prevalence of health conditions in prisons. Constant oversight of prisons is important in order to detect inadequacies and weaknesses in the prison administration. Reforming the law and providing legal assistance to the poor is also important.

[i] Sharma P.D: Police and Criminal Justice Administration in India, (1985) p. 145.
[ii] Bhim Singh v. Union of India, 2014.
[iii] Taft Donald: Criminology (4th Ed.) pg. 419-20.
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 Introduction to surrogacy

The joy of becoming a mother figure is greater than all the pleasures of the world. Is the most expensive happiness which could be enjoyed by a woman after a patience of 9 months and suffering from Labour pain. But becoming a mother is not in everyone's destiny. So, for them, a new process was introduced which was named surrogacy.

                                        

Basically when we hire a female to carry a baby for a couple or intending parents who are for some reason are not able to do so on their own so that lady called surrogate will help these couples to give a baby and they became parents.

In other term, surrogacy is a method of production where intended parents work with a gestational surrogate who will carry and care for their baby until birth. Intended parents use surrogacy to start or grow their families when they can't do so on their own.

Mainly, surrogacy has been banned from India in 2015 the commercial surrogacy has been banned and altruistic surrogacy is valid in India. This is all happened because of the argument that intended parents who you surrogates are interested only in their reproductive ability, they see this practice as womb renting, especially when the woman carrying the pregnancy is in a financially disadvantageous position to the intended parents.

The main thing about surrogacy that it causes too many legal issues and many more such as, the rights of the children produced, the practical ramifications of the further commodification of women's bodies, exploitation of poor and low-income women desperate for money, etc.[i] 

Need for surrogacy

It is needed because everyone cannot become a parent so for this, there is a new technology founded by which women can become a mother by a surrogate mother because becoming a mother is needed for every woman after marriage and this needs to be fulfilled for them who can’t become parents because of some physical effect in the body of any in the partners. This artificial reproduction technique has given a new world for those who can’t have a child of their own.

Laws related to surrogacy:

The immense growth of surrogacy in India led to an impeccable growth of several commercial firms and firms claiming specialty in surrogacy law and guiding and assisting foreign tourist who came in search of having an Indian mother rent her womb for the blessing of a child which can be considered to be exploitive in nature as they are not only encouraging baby-selling but also diminish the dignity of women say productive capacities and the inherent value of the children by modifying them. The 228th report of the Law Commission of India has suggested prohibiting commercial surrogacy and asked to legalized altruistic surrogacy.[ii]

The surrogacy bill

The surrogacy bill, 2016 was introduced in Lok Sabha on 21st November 2016 There were many reports have been taken place, on the basis of those reports Lok Sabha passed the bill on 19th December 2018. The bill 2016 focus on the prohibition of commercial surrogacy and allow altruistic surrogacy. The bill will also safeguard the surrogate mother and her child from exploitation from this bill. According to the provisions the married couple who are eligible in taking custody of a child with the provision of the bill can take a baby or a child from a surrogate mother as eligible as per the provision of the bill. Here the surrogate mother will not get any monetary benefit over compensation for renting her womb for the couples during her pregnancy.

Some important provisions of the bill

Section 3 - which includes the compulsory registration, no medical practitioner shall perform commercial surrogacy, no one can perform this medication without qualification, no storage of human embryo or gamete is allowed for surrogacy purpose.
Section 4 - It talks about surrogacy procedures which include a certificate of infertility to the couple intending surrogacy by district medical board, an order of court passed by a magistrate of the first class or above, regarding custody and parentage of a child, insurance of surrogate mother and child.
Section 6 - which states that written consent of the surrogate mother is necessary.
Section 7 - that no child shall be abandoned child born by surrogacy shall be deemed to be a natural child.
Section 9 - which states that there should be no pressure in any way for the surrogate mother to abort the child.
Many of the other rights are given in this act which includes the production of surrogate mothers, punishment for initiation of commercial surrogacy. Penalty for contravention of provisions of Act or rules, a presumption in case of surrogacy.

Other provisions of surrogacy bill 2019

1. The bill should be applicable to all the states of India except Jammu and Kashmir for the regulation of the surrogacy process this bill provides the constitution of both national surrogacy and state surrogacy board.
2. The bill should be only applicable for surrogacy to Indian citizens. Foreigners, NRI is not allowed. This bill also provides many provisions for the custody of the child to be born which the bill contains the provision of penalty and imprisonment if the person violated the law.
3. There should be a proper compulsory for couples who intact for surrogacy should be aged between 23 to 50 years and married for at least 5 years.
4. There is a provision in the bill that states that a woman who surrogates once in her life should be aged between 25 to 35.[iii]

Commercial surrogacy ban: A good decision.

Surrogacy on a commercial scale makes absolutely no sense. It is repugnant on moral as well as religious grounds the mother and her child share a bond that is greater than anything else this is a sacred bond that cannot be sold in an international marketplace or within a domestic place. If this is allowed then there is a possibility that women who have low moral values or little in terms of the family institution, will run the wombs of Indian women for money. It will then become a source of easy money as many women from lower-income groups in India might want to opt for something like this.

Therefore, the statute framework should be put in place that women who sell their wombs for money are proscribed and punished. Even those who trained the wombs of people in India should be proscribed as well because foreigners, NRI, and the people who are out of India are not allowed for this and in India commercial surrogacy is properly banned. If these things will going to happen continuously then there will lead to civilization decay that will be disasters in the long run.

Commercial surrogacy also has its malpractices. Surrogates are often underpaid, blackmailed, or extorted and they commonly lack legal protection and adequate health insurance. Many women become surrogates without having properly verified their fitness to carry a healthy baby to a long term.

Surrogates mothers are subjected to ethical treatment, poor living conditions, and exploitation. For financial gain, their poverty and lack of education review them again and again into the surrogacy process. As a result, they are help decline as effectively became baby-making machines year after year. 

Surrogate mothers don't even receive the kind of support services that need for themselves and their family during this emotional journey. However, these are the reasons the Indian government attempted to take steps to ban commercial surrogacy.

After all, the bill has been passed which allows ethical altruistic surrogacy to the intending infertile Indian married couple between the age of 23 to 50 years and 26 to 55 years for female and male respectively. A woman should be allowed to act as a surrogate mother only once and should be a close relative of the intending couple and should be an ever-married woman having a child of her own and between the age of 25 to 35 years.
Now, the things which are happening in India due to lack of legislation to regulate surrogacy and the practices of surrogacy which has been misused by surrogacy clinic which leads to rampant commercial surrogacy and unethical practices will be properly stopped.[iv]

Legal conflicts and implications of surrogacy in India:

Surrogacy is introduced with the motive to provide parenthood feelings to infertile couples and for economic assistance to surrogate mother who has to fight every day for her subsistence living. But due to lack of proper surrogacy legislation, only the middleman is profit earners, and intended couples and surrogate mothers are getting exploited. There are several moral and legal issues related to commercial surrogacy.

As per the latest surrogacy bill of 2019 commercial surrogacy has been banned and altruistic surrogacy has been permitted. The main reason to ban commercial surrogacy is to prevent exploitation of women, selling and purchasing of babies, illegal trading of human embryos.

The parents have to wait for 5 years and had to get a medical certificate from a doctor and have to complete certain legal formalities which is itself a very complex and time-consuming task that can take too much time. Or as we can say that it is a very sarcastic or weird issue that live-in couples are not allowed to go for surrogacy, therefore in this way we can say that it is discriminating for live-in couples who are not married. As for having a child, marriages are compulsory criteria.

This is very hard for live-in couples that they cannot enjoy parenthood feeling without getting married. As we see practically it is very difficult to find out such a woman who is close relative and ready to give a baby to intended couples free of cost. Many of the circumstances take place by the society that what the society will think about her because nowadays societal and a family impression is a big issue as a society never accept this kind of behavior and if they know about the fact that they are planning for surrogacy the society will start blaming both the surrogate mother and intended couples.

There is also a big issue that arose that attachment of mother with her child because it is very difficult for a mother to keep her child away from her because there is an emotional attachment built between the child and the mother.

At last, there are no laws made that accurately deal with surrogacy contracts. Surrogacy Merely degrades the dignity of women in the eyes of society as ultimately it is a woman carrying a pregnancy for the enjoyment of another couple who are infertile to procreate a child there is too much possibility that child could have emotional problems after knowing that he or she is not the biological child of commissioning mother.

Conclusion:

In India, people are practicing surrogacy when several children are orphans. Childless couples who want to adopt these children are subjected to a complex procedure. A common dictation law for all the cities across religion or Indian living in other countries is not present. Simple adoption procedures will reduce the rates of surrogacy. The rights of women and children should be protected through the framing of laws that will cover all the present loopholes.


At last, the surrogacy rate is higher in India. There is no proper legislation on surrogacy, the process had been misused a lot. Even the new amendment bill of 2019 has been passed by Lok Sabha in support of only altruistic surrogacies but still there are many malpractices are done under commercial surrogacies there are a lot of loopholes that needed to be removed. In the future maybe, commercial surrogacy should not be completely banned it should be legalized with certain limitations imposed for the benefit of both commissioning parents and surrogate mothers.


[i] https://www.jagranjosh.com/general-knowledge/surrogacy-in-india-1597665040-1
[ii] https://www.barandbench.com/columns/surrogacy-laws-in-india-past-experiences-and-emerging-facets
[iii] http://www.legalservicesindia.com/article/1817/Surrogacy-Its-Legal-Implications.html
[iv] https://southernsurrogacy.com/surrogacy-information/the-challenges-and-rewards-of-surrogacy-for-everyone-involved/
Author: Satyam Soni, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies.





INTRODUCTION

No doubt, human trafficking is an offspring of the slave trade that was practiced some years ago. This practice has been in existence for quite a long time now and now that there’s a current battle that almost everyone is dealing with, the cases of human trafficking have increased. The situation has just been worsened now because of COVID 19. The ongoing pandemic has left the masses vulnerable since it has cost people their jobs, families, and their mental health too. 

The oppressor having observed this has often disguised the disadvantaged humans and as a result, many people have been trafficked and are still being transported illegally just to satisfy the needs and requirements of their masters. The COVID 19 pandemic has marked a period of grave losses, suffering, and recurring poverty. In the search for greener pastures and better living conditions, humans end up falling into the trap of human trafficking. They are promised jobs and improved standards of living and they end up giving in without knowing what lies ahead of them. Human trafficking is a trick used by fraudsters whereby they unlawfully transport people with a motive of benefitting from their services be it sexual exploitation or forced workforce and labor.

Humans are easily manipulated in this era where jobs, scholarships, and everything else required are available at the tip of the mouse. The perpetrator is maximizing these online platforms and this is how people are being trafficked. Human trafficking amidst the COVID 19 era contributes to the death of such victims. When these victims are being transported, they are often taken to overcrowded rooms where no social distancing is practiced. The moment such victims come to terms with reality, it will often be too late for them to retreat and return back to their home countries. Victims of COVID 19 have often succumbed to the virus and because they are hardly insured medically, death’s cold finger ends up touching their feeble mortal clay. of late, women and children used to be the most vulnerable groups but now that everyone is struggling to make ends meet, men are no exception to the same and are also immensely affected. To the survivors, their daily schedules remain the same and have to be executed by them. Human trafficking which has often reached its zenith as a result of the consequences imposed by the virus causes mental and psychological trauma to those being trafficked. What they thought would be a relief to them will just prove to be a multiplication of their sorrows and agonies and now that the love of men is constantly growing cold, it implies that humans will continue living under the banner of human trafficking as long as COVID 19 remains a reality.

With many of the physical classes being suspended because of COVID 19, children are also being targeted for human trafficking. There are now more chances of them being lured into human trafficking and this is why most of them have gone missing. These children end up not being occupied and that is when they fall victim to human trafficking where they can be occupied in some way. Sadly, these children are being ushered into forced sex and labor at such tender ages and they end up contracting sexually-transmitted diseases. Every other person is at a greater risk of being trafficked as the use of media and technology is increasing now that people are spending most of their time indoors in accordance with the COVID 19 regulations. In some other countries where almost all the businesses have closed down, foreigners become the main targets of human trafficking as they are more desperate when such uncertainties befall them in foreign lands.

Since most of the organizations are operating from home, it has made the victims of human trafficking suffer when trying to reach out to the anti-human trafficking agencies for help so much that even if one manages to escape from such modern-day slavery, they end up getting stuck along the way as offices in the nearby town may be closed down. Sadly, most organizations are not in a position to salvage the victims of human trafficking because of this pandemic. At the end of the day, one is forced to return back to their master and continue offering their services without getting any wage for that. Due to COVID 19, various economies are taking a toll and because of this, the victims of human trafficking might end up being physically assaulted or even molested by perpetrators as they will not be able to perform their day-to-day tasks efficiently.

Due to the economic tolls experienced as a result of COVID 19, countries have limited funds and top priority is given to other sectors of the economy of which human trafficking is not part. The expenditures of most countries have been adjusted and this is likely to continue along as COVID 19 is to stay. As a result, some of the victims end up being sold in exchange for basic commodities and wherever they go, they still have to live as slaves.

As the pandemic is rendering many jobless and homeless, the leeway for human trafficking has been laid. The victims are much more susceptible to hunger, death, a greater risk of contracting the virus due to the impacts that COVID 19 has made on almost all sectors of the economy essential for human development. Indeed, the imprints that COVID 19 has left on the human race, human trafficking is one of them, have proved to be far beyond human comprehension and control but what lies within the borders of humanity ought to be dealt away with. The masses still need some awareness on how they can fall victim to human trafficking due to the advancement in technology. One can be of the view that several laws have been put in place but still, people fall prey to human trafficking at the end of the day but the truth of the matter is that the citizens too ought to take some precautions and preventive measures to save themselves from such acts.
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AUTHOR: FLORENCE RUZIVE





Introduction

Intersectionality was theorised by Kimberle Crenshaw, stating that it is the study of how different power structures interact in the lives of minorities, specifically black women and it has held great value having witnessed a crucial space in academia.
From a Feminist perspective, intersectionality has become the primary way of conceptualizing the relation between different systems of oppression which not only construct our multiple identities but also our social locations in hierarchies of power and privilege. It draws attention to the different invisibilities that exist in feminism, in anti-racism, class politics, etc., and in the Indian scenario, intersectionality is addressed on the basis of caste, class, gender, urban/rural, religion, etc. In India where caste is the oldest form of oppression and violence perpetrated because of caste coupled with gender, culminates into an atrocious form of violence.

Intersectionality and India

The Indian Society, which is deeply-seated in ‘Brahmanical patriarchy’, orders the society into a stricter caste system.[1] This caste system defines individual social status which avails them the opportunity to be either privileged or powerful in the upper strata (Brahmin) or be exploited, dominated, or stigmatized at the lower strata (Dalit). The system anchors on the power to enforce caste-based duties which are inherent in ‘graded inequality and endogamy’.[2] Dalits are not only humiliated for being born in that caste but also face a lot of discrimination and atrocities in society.

The inherently violent nature of the caste society is perpetrated most brutally on Dalit women. The systemic & unrelenting violence on Dalit women is hardly ever highlighted in media and the intersectionality of gender, class, and caste often remains unseen. The violence for Dalit women is almost always associated with their caste positions, and also depends on whether they abide by the system. For example, their resistance to or dissent towards the caste structure often triggers violence. When compared to other women, Dalit women most of the time finds themselves in culturally, economically, and socially vulnerable locations, which basically work to aggravate the sense of impunity with which perpetrators, inflict violence on them.[3]

Making women eat human defecation, gang rapes, and parading them naked are a few of the women-specific crimes, gang rapes being the most prominent. Besides being an exercise of power by upper-caste members, sexual violence is also a method used by them to show lower-caste men that they were unable to “protect” their women and uses rape as a tool to stage a “contest” among men.[4]

Statistics

Since 2014, sexual violence against Dalit/Scheduled Castes (SC) has been the most dominant form of atrocities perpetrated against the marginalized group. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) statistics, 13.9 percent of all atrocities committed against SCs included rape or sexual assault. In 2014, these crimes constituted 12.73 percent and 10.9 percent in 2015.

In 2016, similar patterns were recorded against Dalit/Scheduled Tribes (ST). Rape accounted for 14.8 per cent of all crimes reported against STs, followed by 12.7 percent cases of assault on women, with intent to outrage their modesty and about 973 cases of rape were reported in 2016 against ST women, whereas 2,541 cases of rape were reported against SC women.[5] The report also established that most of the crimes against SCs reported were crimes against women, including assault, sexual harassment, stalking, outraging of modesty, and voyeurism.

The conviction rate or the cases convicted as a proportion of total cases in which trials were completed—for overall crimes against women at 19% is lower than the conviction rate for crimes against Dalit women at 28%, NCRB data shows.[6] This means the problem for females of the lowest caste in Hindu society is only compounded by a weak accountability system.

Justice System

Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 aka PoA Act, takes into account any and all kinds of atrocities inflicted by an upper caste person to a lower caste person. The atrocities include humiliation, discrimination, assault, etc. This act is to safeguard Dalits from the caste system.

But the lack of law enforcement leaves many of them unable to approach the legal system to seek redress and women are often also unaware of the laws; their ignorance is exploited by their opponents, by the police, the judiciary, etc. Even when the cases are registered, the lack of appropriate investigation, or the judge’s own caste and gender biases, can lead to the acquittal of the accused, regardless of the availability of evidence/s or witnesses, and the failure to successfully prosecute cases of rape also allows for crimes against women to continue unabatedly, and in the present context, encourages the use of rape as a tool to punish and silence Dalit communities.[7]

As in the case of Bhanwari Devi, who was gang-raped by five men, the reason accorded was neither lust nor patriarchy but, the fault of Devi herself, who being a lower-caste woman, had dared to break the age-old strictures of caste, which is by protesting against the practice of child marriage, which was a standard among the upper-castes and when the matter finally reached the court, the judge acquitted all the five rapists, holding, among a host of other reasons, that since the upper castes practiced strict untouchability, it was unbelievable that any of the five would touch a lower caste woman and Devi remains deprived of justice till today.[8]

Dalit Women further face atrocities because of little things and that is only because they are from the lower caste. For example, two teenage girls in a village of Uttar Pradesh were gang-raped and murder only because they had asked their upper-caste employer to increase their salary by a mere sum of Rs 3 and the upper-caste men were unable to stomach the audacity of these girls to demand something from them. This clearly shows violence is not just meant to control women, but also to carefully maintain the caste structure.[9]
M. Meena (not her real name) a twelve-year-old Dalit girl, was raped in September 1997 by a twenty-one-year-old upper-caste man in Tamil Nadu. Successful prosecution of her case was obstructed when the accused bribed to the police and the girl’s father was threatened not to divulge the facts or the family would face dire consequences. After much persistence and help from a social worker, Meena’s parents were finally able to register a case of rape under the Indian Penal Code. At the same time, the police refused to register the case under the PoA Act. The accused spent forty-five days in jail and was afterward released on bail. In December of 1997, soon after his (the accused) release, he physically assaulted the husband of the social worker who had been helping Meena. As of December 1998, no charges had been filed in the rape case, and the accused remained out on bail.[10]

When Suman Rani a Dalit woman who was a victim of custodial rape did not get justice as the Supreme Court refused to apply the minimum ten-year sentence to the police officers charged because of the victim’s “questionable character.” The court’s opinion quoted a medical officer who testified that the “victim girl [was] used to frequent intercourse and parturition and there was no mark of violence of sexual assault on any part of her body.” The court finally held that the unusual facts of the case, combined with the conduct of the victim, did not warrant the enforcement of the minimum ten-year sentence. [11]

Conclusion

Dalit women have often been the major victims of heinous gender-based crimes and the Indian courts have consistently failed the Dalits by steadfastly refusing to acknowledge that sexual violence is perpetrated because of a woman's caste. This further explains the dynamics of caste relations and the dominance of the upper caste citizens in the justice system. As a result of the above, the criminal justice is undermined because this complex scenario makes Dalit women feel, inter alia, that they lack equal access to justice and protection of the law; Violence against them is not only widespread but also systemic; they are often blamed, disbelieved or asked to settle such matters in privately; they are intimidated/threatened when the report and the police do not protect them; Perpetrators enjoys large-scale immunity, and even the court has often failed to convict perpetrators that violate Dalit women. Hence, their faith in the justice system is weaned making it difficult to report violence or resort to the system for protection.[12]

As it is clearly seen the current system is not working, the law alone can’t help in protecting Dalit women from these atrocities. There is a dire need for a check system and gender-caste sensitization classes for everyone working in the justice system. More than that everyone needs to stop seeing feminism only from middle-class-upper caste women’s perspective and accept that feminism can only work if it’s intersectional.


[1] Augustine Betialikong Aboh, Between Limited Laws and Conservative Patriarchal System: Why the Indian Security and Justice System is Less Effective to Prevent Gender-Based Violence against Women and Girls, 16 Global Media Journal (2018).
[2] Id. at 1.
[3] Sumanti Sen, The Logical Indian (2020), https://thelogicalindian.com/story-feed/awareness/dalit-women-sexual-violence/ (last visited 2020).
[4] Id. at 3.
[5] Sanya Dhingra, The Print (2017), https://theprint.in/report/rape-sc-st-women-often-power-crime-statistics-show/24739/ (last visited 2020).
[6] Ragini Bhuyan, live mint (2018), https://www.livemint.com/Politics/BLSfI5mVpERSui9VI7qABL/What-Supreme-Courts-dilution-of-SCST-Act-means-for-Dalit-w.html (last visited 2020).
[7] Human Rights Watch, Human Rights Watch , https://www.hrw.org/reports/1999/india/India994-11.htm#P2047_431803 (last visited 2020).
[8] Saurav Datta , Aljazeera (2014), https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/06/india-courts-condone-dalit-rape-201461010327959421.html (last visited 2020).
[9] Id. at 3.
[10] Aloysius Irudayam s.j., Jayshree P. Mangubhai & Joel G. Lee, Dalit Women Speak Out Violence against Dalit Women in India, National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (2006).
[11] Id. At 7.
[12] Id. at 1.
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Author: Kritika Vyas