RBP registered 20 cases of crime against children in 4 months

Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) has registered 20 cases of crime against children from January to April 2023. Of the total registered cases, rape of a child above twelve years of age contributed the highest with 13 cases followed by child molestation with 4 cases.

There were two cases of criminal attempt statutory rape and one case of endangerment of children reported within the same time frame. Thimphu Police Station (PS) received the highest number of cases with 9 and Samtse reported the second highest with 3 cases.

In 2022, police registered 87 similar cases, wherein 40 cases are reported in connection to rape of a child above twelve years of age and 15 cases of child molestation. Likewise, 89 cases were reported in 2021, 70 cases in 2020 and 44 cases in 2019.

It is learnt that it is difficult to deal with cases where children and women come into conflict with law, given the various associated challenges.

Deputy Chief of Police, Crime and Operation, Colonel Passang Dorji, said the highest number of cases every year is that of rape of a child above twelve years of age. This could be because of various contributing factors, of which lack in parenting could be the major cause, he added.

Col Passang said schools and parents should follow the safety and security measures to monitor their children’s activities and whereabouts.

Easy access to the mobile phones and internet can also be a contributing factor, and one should know how and when to use them as they can fall prey to the perpetrators. It is one’s own responsibility to take care of oneself, Col Passang added.

If the perpetrator is below the age of 18 years, he or she will be liable for half the sentence. However, it will again depend upon the case and its severity.

To deal with the cases professionally, women and children’s units are opened in police stations around the country manned by trained female officers. This helps to provide a safe and supportive environment where victims can feel comfortable sharing their experiences and seeking assistance.

According to the police, the fear of being exposed and discriminated by the society has stopped many complainants or victims from cooperating with the police. Moreover, most of the witnesses do not want to come forward, even when they know the truth, because they do not want to put themselves and their loved ones in danger.

Some people do not want to report the case given various reasons, however, Col Passang said, “We urge the people to come forward, so that we can provide the best services from our side. We ensure the safety of everyone.”

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