An international NGO has criticised India’s child welfare system for failing to protect children from child sexual abuse.

The Child Abuse Prevention Campaigns (CAP) said that it has documented more than 40,000 instances of sexual abuse against children across India since January 2017.CAP Director Rishabh Kumar said that many children are sexually abused by their parents and that the government needs to step up its efforts to stop such abuse.

He added that children are often targeted in the name of their religious beliefs and that they should not be blamed for such abuse by the authorities.

The organisation has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding a complete ban on all forms of child abuse.

In January 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that the Indian government had to take a more proactive approach to protect the rights of the country’s children.