Lakshadweep is often considered as a place with low crime rate, especially those involving children. But the Childline India Foundation (CIF) attributes this to reduced crime reporting and not because fewer crimes are happening in the territory. 

It was only recently that CIF set up a unit in Kavaratti and several cases where children were deprived of their rights came to their knowledge. The session that started operation on January 29 found that several cases of abuse, where often small children are targeted, takes place in the area, but the majority of them goes unreported. 

The Union Territory does not have separate platforms ensuring protection and legal assistance for children like Child Protection Units or Child Welfare Committee. Hence most cases either go unnoticed or unreported. The Childline has started offering sessions to students and intervening in issues where children were deprived of their rights. 

"If they want to report a crime, they will have to travel to Kavaratti. As it is a tiresome task, people prefer to settle crimes in its original place, rather than approach authorities with a complaint," an official said. 

The team met with staff of Women and Child Development, school teachers, ASHA workers, officials of different departments as well as madrassas. It was only recently that a POCSO case was registered from Minicoy island, an official said. 

The CIF unit in Lakshadweep consists of officials from Kerala and Tamil Nadu. By setting up a unit, the Foundation aims to bring out incidents of child right violations on the islands.