No social problem is as universal as the oppression of the child. No slave was ever so much the property of his master as the child is of his parent. Never were the rights of man ever so disregarded as in the case of the child. - Maria Montessori In India, where even stones and trees are worshipped, children are routinely beaten, neglected and abused. The daily news is rife with stories of abuse and neglect, often perpetrated in the name of discipline or protection. The Nithari case, female foeticide, instances of child marriage and the sexual abuse of minors - the statistics are frightening. Lakhs of children are robbed of childhood, and India is doing little to remedy that. While the government now acknowledges education and nutrition as the essential entitlements of children, there has been little legislation or initiative to safeguard their most fundamental rights. Child protection is still nowhere on the nation's radar. Loveleen Kacker distilled several years of research to write this cogent and powerful volume on why child abuse and neglect happens and how it affects children in India. She examines physical, emotional and sexual abuse, as well as neglect and maltreatment, especially of the girl child. Bringing real-life instances and case studies together with Kacker's own work on the rights of children, this is a guide for parents, policy makers, schoolteachers, paediatricians, childcare specialists - indeed, anyone with a stake in the welfare of minors. A timely and much-needed addition to the literature on child rights, Childhood Betrayed is also a call for change - nay a call to arms.