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Stronger action needed to ensure women's safety: UNICEF

PTI  New Delhi, April 20, 2013
First Published: 16:09 IST(20/4/2013) | Last Updated: 18:01 IST(20/4/2013)

The UN on Saturday strongly condemned the rape of a five-year-old girl in Delhi and called for "stronger and immediate action" to improve the safety of girls in the country.

"The rape that took place in the past days in Delhi where a five-year-old girl is now fighting for her life, is yet another sign that urgent and concerted action is needed to make sure that girls and women in India can feel and be safe on the streets, in school, at work and at home," UNICEF India said in a statement here.

"While the child is fighting for her life, UNICEF expresses its heartfelt sympathy with the family of the young girl and shares hopes for her full recovery," it said.

Quoting recently published data which shows that more than 30,000 crimes were committed against children in India in 2011, UNICEF said "the same source of data shows us that one in three of the rape victims is a child." "More than 7,200 children, including infants are reported raped every year. UNICEF acknowledges that there might be many more cases that go unreported, and thus also go without the needed care and support," it said.

Noting that the government has taken some encouraging steps including the passing of the Criminal Law Ordinance following the gang-rape case in December, UNICEF said, "This is a promising reality for the children of India. Yet, the law is not enough if it is not enforced effectively." "The brutal rape case this week unfortunately also indicates the need to strongly improve the response of law enforcement officers," it said.

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