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South Asia or Southern Asia refers to the southern part of central Asia. The region is bounded by the Indian Ocean in the south and includes the Himalaya in the north. There are eight sovereign countries in Southern Asia. The geoscheme of the United Nations includes Afghanistan in Southern Asia.



India has been characterised as one of the "countries with the lowest per capita rates of rape". The government also classifies consensual sex committed on the false promise of marriage as rape.

The willingness to report rapes have increased in recent years, after several incidents received widespread media attention and triggered local and nationwide public protests. This led the government to reform its penal code for crimes of rape and sexual assault.



Indian law enforcement agencies register more than six million crimes every year. A third of these are bodily offences while 20% are property crimes. According to the UN, the homicide rate in India was nearly 3 per 100,000 in 2020, higher than most countries in Asia and Europe but lower than most in the Americas and Africa although numerically one of the highest due to the large population.

Police records shows high incidence of violent crimes against women & children, especially involving sexual assault and rape. According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 31,677 rape cases were registered across the country in 2021, or an average of 86 cases daily.

Human trafficking is also a serious issue in India. It usually comes in the form of offering employment to the poor and uneducated.

Women are sold to brothels or families as maids, where they are usually raped, tortured, and sexually assaulted. As of 2021, more than 1,20,000 children were reported to be missing, many of them potential victims of human trafficking.


In 2018, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs set up new division to strengthen measures for safety of women in the country with the help of forensic science, particularly DNA profiling. However, the progress has been slow both in terms of enabling legislation and operational capacity. While Indian parliament passed the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022 expanding the scope of DNA sample collection from convicts & arrestees, the country still lacks a clear policy framework for creation and management of DNA databases at national and state levels.

According to a study by Reuters out of an estimated 20 million commercial prostitutes in India, 16 million women and girls are victims of sex trafficking.

Child trafficking is an issue that is extremely prevalent in India, and is continuing to grow rapidly.

Even after a reform in 2013, marital rape when the wife and husband live together continued not to be a crime.


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