It is estimated that 140 million children worldwide are orphans. (UNICEF). Millions of vulnerable children do not get foster parents or are not adopted and are growing up in orphanages, without the love and care of a family. Most of the orphanages provide food, clothes, bed, education and a roof over the top. Enough amount of funding is received from religious institutions, charities, government programs as well as individual donors. In the worst cases, they are isolated, starved, abused, sold into international adoption or sex cartels, and many die.
The findings show that physical and sexual abuse affect 12 percent of girls and 14 percent of boys in institution-based care, and 19 percent of girls and 20 percent of boys in family-based care annually. By age 13, approximately half of orphans experience abuse, regardless of gender or setting.
We need to educate the boys as well as girls not only for their protection, but to help prevent them from becoming abusers themselves
Exposure to a traumatic event such as abuse often leads to a significant long-term burden, negatively affecting one’s health, quality of life and economic productivity in adulthood. These findings reinforce the need for programs to protect both orphaned girls and boys in these countries, who are particularly susceptible to abuse.
India being a developing country with laws in place but not strictly followed is an easy destination for these crimes.
At CACTUS FOUNDATION, as part of the project “Protect the unprotected”, we carry out awareness campaigns for children at orphanages, to help them be aware of sexual abuse at the hands of other elder kids, facilitators as well as to protect themselves from being sold to sex cartels.