This month we ‘celebrate’ children who have been victimised and robbed of their childhood. Children who have been through physical, mental and emotional abuse will be remembered on the 4th of June (International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression). Children who have lost their childhood and have been forced to work will be remembered on the 12th of June (World Day Against Child Labour).

Are these days of celebration? Is it remembering or honouring them? How do we honour someone who has lost something as precious as childhood and identity and gained trauma and it’s associated disorders in return? If we choose to remember or honour them, how are we doing so? As I think about this, my thoughts move on to an issue that grabbed headlines for weeks. A license-less and drunk teenager who drove his father’s Porsche right into a couple who were returning home. There was a public outcry and outrage against enforcement officers who had given the juvenile offender and his father an easy pass. Social media, newspapers and news channels featured updates with such frenzied frequency. Every progress and new turn in the investigation has been reported. The role of the child, father, mother, grandfather, doctors… Everyday brings forth a new development.

What does this have to do with victims of sex trafficking you ask? We have a day set to remember victims of child physical, emotional, mental and sexual abuse. We speak about them one or at the most 3 days in a year and are satisfied that we as a country have done enough to remember those who died and those who have survived these heinous crimes. In a year approximately 63,000 incidents related to crimes against children are reported in India. Going by these statistics, in the two weeks that this case has been featured in our news about 2, 400 children were victims of crime. In the investigations into these cases, developments are aplenty. Criminals are many – traffickers, handlers, pimps, brothel owners, brothel keepers and certainly not the least the multitude of customers. How many reports on the injustices committed against these children did we read about? Two months ago a 10-year old child was rescued from prostitution in Madhya Pradesh. Did you read about that anywhere?

We didn’t.

Public outcry about the injustice in the Pune accident case is definitely the right response against entitled citizens who believe they are above law or worse own the law keepers. I implore each of us reading this to create a public outcry on the atrocities against children. Talk about it in your social media pages, write to newspaper editors, spread the word in your circles of influence…

Make a noise. It is in this noise that we point fingers and demand accountability and justice. It is in this noise that we force the spotlight away from the victim and place it over the accused. It is in this noise we remove the shame attached to the victim and shift it to the abettor. It is in this noise that we can truly honour every child who has been violated physically, mentally, emotionally and sexually.

Many of you have already done so. We exist and are able to make a noise thanks to your support. My hope and prayer is that everyone of us in our strength and space will continuously make a noise against every injustice meted out against every child in India.

Catherine Raja, National Director, Freedom Firm