Victimology is the scientific study of victimization, victim-offender relationships, and victim-criminal justice system. This study paper will focus on the most vulnerable segment of society, known as “Child Victims.” More than 53% of children in India are victims of crimes that have an impact on their sexual, physical, emotional, and mental development. The study paper will focus on the social, psychological, and legal facets of child victims, as well as their multifaceted nature and talk about the several problems associated with children being victims of emerging crimes in India.


Victimology is a scientific examination of victimization, which includes victim-offender connections and relationship between victim-criminal justice system (i.e., police, courts, and correctional authorities). It also covers the relationships that victims have with other institutions and social groups, like the media, companies, and social movements.

Victimology, in its narrowest definition, is the factual, scientific study of crime victims. Victimology in a broader manner refers to the body of knowledge about victims, victimization, and societal attempts to protect victims’ rights. Therefore, it is made up of information collected from a variety of disciplines, including public administration, criminology, law, medicine, psychology, social work, and politics.

The field of victimology distinguishes between two categories of victims: direct victims, or those who were harmed by the accused while they were committing the crime, and indirect victims, or those who were dependent on the direct victims of the crime and suffered as a result of losing their wage earner.

In order to protect the interests of victims throughout the trial phase, the report suggested the appointment of a victim support service coordinator and emphasised the challenges faced by crime victims in all criminal justice systems and the specific concern for victims was added to the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 through amendment in 2005, 2006, and 2008. Every State Government is required to establish a Victim Compensation Fund, according to the comprehensive Victim Compensation Scheme adopted in the 2008 Amendment.

Even though India doesn’t have any laws specifically for victims of crime, the Supreme Court’s observant actions and decisions guarantee justice. The development of distinctive victim justice jurisprudence is fueled by the court’s emphasis on ensuring fair justice for all people. The Supreme Court prioritises the rights of victims by taking a compassionate position towards them via a number of decisions.

In the case of Rattan Singh v. State of Punjab, Justice Krishna Iyer emphasised the lack of victim reparations in criminal law and the disregard for crime victims in our judicial system. He called for increased attention to the issue and underlined the necessity of legislative action to address the problem.

In Maru Ram v. Union of India, Justice Krishna Iyer stated that whereas offenders have a societal obligation to make up for losses or injuries long prison terms actually aggravate harm rather than make things better. In order to alleviate victims’ suffering, victimology should put greater emphasis on making criminals pay a fine than on punishing victims further.


2.1. Magnitude of the problem

There are 440 million children under the age of 18 in India, making up 19% of the world’s total. Of them, roughly 40% are vulnerable and in need of care. Kidnapping and abduction account for 52.3% of crimes against children, while charges under the POCSO Act account for 34.4% of the 13.6% increase in crime against children over the previous three years. 2015 had a 13.1% drop in juvenile disputes, but 2016 saw a 7.2% increase.

In 2016, India reported 8,132 cases of human trafficking, involving 15,379 victims, of whom 58.7% were children. A total of 23,117 individuals were rescued, with children constituting 61.3% of those saved, including those from previous years. Additionally, 549,008 persons (234,334 males and 314,674 females) were reported missing, with Maharashtra accounting for the highest number. Of the 111,569 missing children, 55,944 were traced by the end of the year.

2.2. Child Victim- Various forms and Categories

Children were recognised as an essential national resource by the National Policy for Children, 1974, which was reinforced in the historic Sheela Barse v. Union of India decision. The future of the country rests on the growth and development of its children, which emphasizes the state’s duty to guarantee their overall well-being. It is vital to protect children from all sorts of abuse and exploitation from birth anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, children in India are subjected to a variety of criminal victimization.

2.2.1. Physical Abuse

The term “physically abused child” describes a child who is less than eighteen years old who has been physically harmed by their parents or other guardians. This can include beatings, hits, kicks, burnings, or other types of injuries. Child trafficking and prostitution are serious forms of physical abuse. Around $10 billion is spent on women and children’s exploitation by the trafficking business. Children are forced into sexual relationships for money or other types of recompense in child prostitution, which is seen as a severe form of child labour. 

However it is immoral to force children into prostitution since it stunts their growth and amounts to victimisation and abuse. The Supreme Court ordered the creation of a commission in Gaurav Jain v. Union of India to look into prostitution concerns in detail, including child prostitutes and children of prostitutes, and to develop suitable rescue and rehabilitation programmes. The court’s orders attempted to protect these people’s human rights in accordance with the constitution. Every child is guaranteed protection from exploitation by Articles 14, 21, 23, and 39 of the Indian Constitution. Forcible labour and human trafficking are expressly forbidden under Article 23. In a similar vein, the court upheld in Bachpan Bachao Andolan v. Union of India that no child, especially in situations involving child trafficking and abuse, should have their fundamental rights violated.

2.2.2. Emotional Abuse and Child Neglect

Psychological maltreatment, another name for emotional abuse, refers to any behaviour that causes severe emotional or mental stress, whether it comes from parents, classmates, carers, or other individuals. Its psychological effects are long-lasting. The case of Smriti Madan Kansagra v. Perry Kansagra brought to light the serious emotional trauma that occurs when vengeful litigants use children as instruments. A child’s mental health is harmed by neglect, which goes beyond a lack of clothing and food to include a lack of affection, care, education, and other essentials.

It was argued in A v. State of Uttar Pradesh & Others that children born of unlawful acts of sexual abuse of minors should be considered victims as well. These infants are victims; they bear the stigma and humiliation of a life that is not their own. These children are victims of events beyond their control and are deprived of their right to dignity because their dads refuse to acknowledge them and because their moms frequently leave them because of social pressures.

2.2.3. Missing Children

“Missing children” refers to children who abscond, become lost, or are split off from their family. That being said, the majority of the youngsters in this category are runaways between the ages of 10 and 18. Some people leave their homes for unimportant reasons, like skipping school, while others do so because of unbearable conditions. Many flee in search of work or to avoid maltreatment; others fall victim to human trafficking. These kids can become lost, fall victim to human trafficking, or even be kidnapped. If they get into the hands of traffickers, they might end up as victims of the organ trade, forced labour, forced marriages or camel racing, forced labour trafficking, pressured into drug trafficking or begging, or trafficked to Gulf nations for similar reasons.

In the United States, the number of unaccounted-for missing children increased by over 84% between 2013 and 2015. An estimated 180 children disappear every day on average, including 22 from the capital city, according to CRY (Child Rights and You). According to data from the Union Home Ministry, there were 62,988 untraced children overall in 2015 as instead of 34,244 in 2013.


Compensation is granted for any harm or loss resulting from a convicted individual’s actions. India lacked a comprehensive framework for compensating crime victims prior to the 2008 modification to the CrPC. The change brought in Section 357-A, which facilitates the provision for compensation. A plan for compensating victims and their dependents who have lost things as a result of crime and need rehabilitation must be developed by each state government in coordination with the central government.

The court said in K.A. Abbas H.S.A. v. Sabu Joseph that the victim’s interest in the criminal justice system is the primary goal of this clause. Aside from convicting an accused person, the court may also compel them to compensate the victim who was harmed by their actions by a certain sum of money. This was noted by the court, which drew support from the case of Hari Singh v. Sukhbirsingh. 

The Malimath Committee has put up suggestions for victim compensation. It suggests that the Indian Supreme Court and High Courts have recently adopted the practice of granting compensatory remedies, recognising the difficulties faced by victims in the criminal justice system and utilising the constitutional mandate to ensure complete justice and defend human rights. In addition to monetary compensation, the supreme court may develop additional appropriate reliefs and remedies as part of these remedies. Cases like Railway Board v. Chandrima Das and Nilahati Behera v. State of Orissa serve as examples of this new strategy of utilising constitutional authorities to provide crime victims justice. Large sums of money have been awarded to compensate governmental agencies for their inability to protect victims’ rights.


The Malimath Committee, chaired by Justice V.S. Malimath, was formed in 2003 with the goal of making substantial changes to the ancient criminal justice system. The Committee noted that the rights of crime victims were disregarded and that the guilty were disproportionately favoured under the current system. In order to address this gap, the Committee proposed many suggestions:

  • Victims should have the opportunity to actively participate in cases involving severe crimes and should also receive adequate compensation.
  • In cases where the victim is deceased, their legal representative should have the right to intervene as a party, particularly in serious offenses.
  • The government should arrange for a legal representative chosen by the victim to advocate on their behalf, with the state covering the expenses if the victim cannot afford it.
  • Victim compensation should be mandated by the state for all serious crimes, regardless of whether the perpetrator is caught, convicted, or acquitted. This should be outlined in a distinct law.
  • A fund for victim compensation can be established under the victim compensation law, with assets seized from organized crimes contributing to the fund.


This paper discusses how the laws regarding victims of crime, especially children, are developing in India. Crime can cause serious physical and emotional harm to victims and their families. Unfortunately, besides compensation, there’s little legal support for victims. Because of this, victims often feel neglected in legal proceedings, leading to problems in how justice is served. In India, victims don’t have enough legal rights and protection, which affects their involvement in criminal cases and how justice is delivered. Many victims, especially children, don’t report crimes to the police because they fear negative attention and harassment. This means many cases involving children go unreported, making it hard for them to get help and reintegrate into society. Victims often face repeated incidents without finding a safe space or hope for a better future. To address this, courts need to take a more responsible and sensitive approach when children are involved as victims.


  • Now is the time to create a new law that allows victims to seek compensation in court, regardless of whether the accused is found guilty.
  • In India, we need to reconsider and broaden the principles of compensating crime victims to include all situations, not just fines and penalties.
  • Victims should have the choice to decide where to file a complaint if a crime against them occurred in a foreign country.
  • Children should be educated and made aware of social issues to prevent them from becoming victims of different kinds of harm.
  • The criminal justice system should ensure fair and prompt trials with transparency and honesty, while effectively enforcing all current laws.
  • Courts need to find a balanced approach that respects both the rights of the accused and those of the victim, aiming to restore the victim’s dignity and help them recover from any harm endured.


  1. What is Victimology?

The scientific study of victimisation is known as victimology, and it involves analysing victim-offender connections as well as victim interactions with the criminal justice system and other social institutions.

  1. Who are considered child victims in India?

Child victims in India are individuals under the age of 18 who have been subjected to crimes affecting their sexual, physical, emotional, and mental development. This includes victims of abuse, neglect, trafficking, and other forms of exploitation.

  1. What are the main forms of child victimization?

The main forms of child victimization include physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and exploitation such as trafficking and child prostitution.

  1.  What laws protect child victims in India?

The Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act are important legislation that safeguard child victims in India. In specifically, the POCSO Act is intended to protect minors from sexual offences.




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