Shafiq R Khan

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socio-cutural,legal and political framework influencing the rescue and rehabilitation process

The rescue progress and the rehabilitation progress as perceived by the actors responsible for the rescue or rehabilitation, as well as by the minor girls themselves, has to be understood in the context of social-cultural, legal and political forces, at the local and national levels. They study aimed to examine the relevance of these forces, to any of the people involved in the rescue and rehabilitation processes.

2.4.1 Social norms/traditions

Social norms and traditions play a very impotent role in the perception of prostitution in India. Firstly, prostitution has traditional sanction in some part of the country, were small children are routinely dedicated to the gods and goddesses, and initiated into prostitution there are several communities within which this practice remains prevalent. Apart from these traditional sanctions, in certain part of the country, there are communities where prostitution of children is socially sanctioned. Girls, who have been trained from early childhood to accept prostitution as their profession may resist the rescue efforts. Difficulty also arises in repatriating these girls since their parents were the ones who initiated them into the profession.

Though trafficking and forceful entry of minor girl in prostitution is rampant, society refuses to see them as victims and rejects these girls, which in turn has repercussions on May aspects of the rescue and rehabilitation process. For example, the girls may resist the rescue, if she feels that her family will reject her anyway and that she will be socially stigmatized and unable to find new employment outside of the sex trade.

Social norms and traditions very from to state and between countries, the study attempted to understand these variations in social norms and traditions so for as they some bearing on the rescue rehabilitation process.

2.4.2 Legal Provisions

The rescue and rehabilitation process is often one bond by legal provisions. The popular understanding is that the rescue of minors is largely done with the help of the police, who then hand over the case to a magistrate, who in turn may hand the child over to the custody of the child welfare committee. All these bodies are in turn governed by the law of the land that dictates the steps to be followed in the rescue and rehabilitation of minors. The Indian penal code(1860), the immoral traffic (Prevention)Act, 1956 and the juvenile justice (Care and protection of Children) Act, 2000, are the three main legal documents adhered to, singly or in combination, while handling these cases. The study documented the extent and manner in which these affect the rescue and rehabilitation process.
2.4.3 Political forces

Trafficking and sexual exploitation of minors and women in general is a lucrative business, for those involved in it directly as well as for those who benefit from seeing it flourish, including the enforcement agencies, who can elicit bribes from brothel-keeper or those responsible for property in red light areas. It is alleged that even persons wielding state power have connections with the underworld that is sustained by such illegal activities. Hence, the rescue and rehabilitation processes are also likely to be affected by the attitude of the enforcement agencies and persons wielding power in a particular locality or area.
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