what are the signifance and objectives of protection of children from sexual offence?

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Law Arunima Mishra 11 months 1 Answer 266 views 0

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  1. Considering your query about the ‘law’ relating to the issue, I’ve tried to answer it. For more help, do let us know.

     

    The issues relating to protection of children from sexual offences have been widely covered in an enactment named ‘ The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012 ‘, it was formulated in order to effectively address sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 received the President’s assent on 19th June 2012 and was notified in the Gazette of India on 20th June, 2012.

    The significance of the Act are:
    A) The Act defines a child as any person below eighteen years of age, and regards the best interests and well-being of the child as being of paramount importance at every stage, to ensure the healthy physical, emotional, intellectual and social development of the child.
    B) It defines different forms of sexual abuse, including penetrative and non-penetrative assault, as well as sexual harassment and pornography, and deems a sexual assault to be “aggravated” under certain circumstances, such as when the abused child is mentally ill or when the abuse is committed by a person in a position of trust or authority vis-à-vis the child, like a family member, police officer, teacher, or doctor.
    C) People who traffic children for sexual purposes are also punishable under the provisions relating to abetment in the Act. The Act prescribes stringent punishment graded as per the gravity of the offence, with a maximum term of rigorous imprisonment for life, and fine.

    Some of the child-friendly procedures which are envisaged under the POCSO Act are as follows:-

    At night no child to be detained in the police station.

    The statement of the child to be recorded as spoken by the child.

    Frequent breaks for the child during trial.

    Child not to be called repeatedly to testify.

    For offences under this act the burden of proof is shifted on the accused, keeping in view the vulnerability and innocence of children. To prevent misuse of the law, punishment has been provided for false complaints or false information with malicious intent.

    The media has been barred from disclosing the identity of the child without the permission of the special court. The punishment for breaching this provision by media may be from six months to one year.

    For speedy trial, the evidence of the child is to be recorded within a period of 30 days. Also, the Special Court is to complete the trial within one year.

    The act casts duty on state to spreadawareness to the general public, of the provisions of this act through media ie television, radio and print at regular intervals.

    A child sexual abuse is acknowledged as more severe if it is perpetrated by an officer of the law, namely a police officer or a security personnel or a member of the Army or a public servant or a personnel pertaining to a rehabilitation center, a remand home, jail, medical centers or educational institutes. In case of a child sex abuse complaint being lodged with the Special Juvenile Police Unit or the local police, who is vested with the responsibility of rendering protection to the victim, POCSO responds immediately with measures for aid and restitution for the victim of such abuse. POCSO also arranges for special courts for the brisk habeas corpus against such offenders, while also insulating the victim from any contact with the impeached during the court hearings. Despite the fact that, both the Central and State Governments are vested with the responsibility of spreading the awareness about POCSO using every form of media, and envisaging training programs for all the personnel associated with POCSO, the Act remains significantly obscure.

    Note:
    *contents taken from various verified and trusted sources.*

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