Author: Monisha Parida, Kiit School Of Social, Financial And Human Science [KIIT UNIVERSITY]
Children are future of our country. It is very important for an country to have strict as well as proper rules and regulation for the protection for children against abuse and neglect. Even though there was low rate of crimes, abuse and exploitation but at today it have increased drastically. Due to all such illegal activities against children, there is high chances that our future generation have to go through with lots of problem. To make sure that our future generation do not live in dangerous and criminal environment our government have pass many laws for the protection of children. For the protection of children against sexual abuse laws have been passed in India.
This law has been in-acted in India as the part child protection policies in India. Every laws which are been enacted in India or have been passed in India are meant to protect children from sexual abuse and harassment, right to live, right to get education, right to get education and many more laws and right for the protection. Giving a child proper and good environment is not only governments responsibility but protecting a child and giving that child basic rights is also a responsibility of every citizen on India.
PROTECTION OF CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL OFFENCE (POSCO) ACT 2012
Before times when there was no laws passed by government to protect children from criminal or sexual offense, no cases have been registered. Now when government have passed laws and have also enacted POSCO Act for the children, if has now seen that many children are getting justice against all those criminal acts from which they have gone through. After the enactment of POSCO Act, any children who have gone through any sort of offence can register case under POSCO Act.
POSCO Act 2012 which is also known as Protection Of Children From Sexual Offence Act 2012 is been enacted by government of India for protecting a child from any sexual harassment, sexual assault and sexual pornography. The act is been enacted so that it can provide a robust legal framework for the protection of children from any sort of assault. This framing of POSCO Act seeks to put children first so that it can be used for for the safeguard the interest of a child in every stage of judicial process. The POSCO Act provides with variety of offence under which an accused can get punishment for the crime.
DETAILS ABOUT CONTENTION AROUND IMPLEMENTATION OF POSCO ACT 2012
1. CONTRADICTION WITH MEDICAL TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY ACT,1971- For the protection of children from any sort of sexual offence act has been passed so that it can strengthen all legal provisions in order to protect children who are under age 18. The act states that if any girl who’s age in under 18 is seeking for abortion then the service provider is compelled to register a complaint of sexual assault with the police. However under the medical termination of pregnancy act,1971 does not gives permission to report identification of that person who is seeking for abortion.
2. MANDATORY REPORTS- The act clearly states that every crime which has taken place with a child is required to be reported. If this situation arises that a person who has informed of any kind of abuse fails to report than, that person have to face imprisonment for up to six months or maybe fined or both. Many child and women rights organization have criticism this provision. But according to the experts of crime states that this provision takes away agency of choice from children because many survivors are there who do not want to go through with trauma of criminal justice system. But this reports are always kept hidden access to medical aid and psycho social intervention.
3. LEGAL AID- Section 40 of this Act allows that victims can easily access for legal aid. However this is for the subjects to code of criminal procedure. In simple language in legal perspective it states that a child can only assist to the Public Prosecutor. Even file can written at final judgement only if judges gives permitting to write. Thus, the interest of any victim often go unrepresented.
4. CRIMINALISATION OF CONSENSUAL RELATIONSHIPS- The law states or presumes that all sexual acts which has happen with children who’s age are under 18. Thus two individuals who are engaged in consensual sexual act will also get punishment under the respective law or act. These couples who are in need of mandatory reporting has to led to criminalisation of consensual relationships between adolescents. This act is specially concern for those relations where children are from different caste,or religion, adolescent. Even parents can also file case under this act to punish if they do not approve to their children’s relationship in which they are involved.
SALIENT FEATURES OF THE ACT ALONG WITH IT’S AMENDMENT
1. The POSCO Act is equal for both gender. It is neutral in nature. Even it is having best regards for welfare of a child as a matter of paramount importance at every stage of every level. As the POSCO Act ensures the healthy physical, emotional, intellectual as well as for social development.
2. The POSCO Act defines in different forms of sexual abuse which includes penetrative as well as non-penetrative assault. Even the act is having different form for sexual harassment and pornography and deems a sexual assault to be a “aggravated” which is under certain circumstances like when a child is been abused mentally or when a person have committed abuse in the position of trust, like teacher, family member, or any family doctor.
3. Even people who have kidnapped children for the purpose to use them in child trafficking are also been punished under this provision.
4. The Act also states that if any type of images, videos, photography or any computer generated photos of pornography has been found where any child has been involved are also given punishment. Even police will go through entire process of video making and people who are involved.