A new study has suggested that in several countries of the world, sexual abuse of boys is barely addressed by laws.
According to the study by the Economist Intelligence Unit, about half of the 40 countries it examined did not have any laws to protect boys against abuse, or the laws only protected girls.
Out of the 40, only 18 countries collect prevalence data about the sexual abuse of boys. Just five collect prevalence data for boys related to child sexual exploitation.
Factors such as social stigma, macho stereotypes and homophobia also contributed much of the cases not being reported, it said.
Sexual violence against children is a universal threat enabled by improved communications connectivity & mobility. How are governments tackling the issue? https://t.co/HgQAqR9jUO
(Via @WorldChildhoodF @ChildhoodUSA @oakfnd & the Carlson Family Foundation) #OOSI #ShineALight pic.twitter.com/r35GpgDIjm
— The Economist Intelligence Unit (@TheEIU) January 17, 2019
The research cited India as having the best legal framework to protect victims after having passed in 2012 the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, which covers sexual abuse of boys as well as girls.
The report ranked Britain, Sweden and Canada at the top in tackling child abuse effectively, while placing Pakistan, Egypt and Mozambique at the bottom.
A 2011study had shown that globally 18% of girls and 8% of boys experienced childhood sexual abuse.