Child Sexual Abuse in India: Causes, Impacts, POCSO Act & Amendments | UPSC Notes

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Child Sexual Abuse in India: Causes, Impacts, POCSO Act & Amendments

Child Sex Abuse

Latest News | Facts— 

  1. Conviction Rates in POCSO Cases is obnoxiously low at < 3% — this has to improve!!
  2. Centre makes the provisions of POCSO more stringent — Gender Neutrality | Death Penalty | Longer jail terms | aggravated penetrative sexual assault now attracts stricter punishment 
  3. Cases of Shelter Homes in UP and Bihar functioning as a venue for sexual abuse of children for last many years. Officials sacked and SC made a strict comment over the incapacity of the state to provide safeguard to the little ones and allowing such bogus ‘shelter homes’ to run such sexual rackets in a garb of providing shelter!
  4. In more than 80-85% cases, the perpetuator of the crime is a known person to the child — a relative, a friend, a cousin or even are rare cases immediate family.

Supreme Court on Child Sex Abuse

  1. “Shelter homes case may be tip of tip of the iceberg” — SC
  2. There is a possibility of large number of children who are being sexually abused and raped and the state authorities still being completely oblivious to them. 
  3. “The existing mechanism is NOT ADEQUATE to curb sexual abuse of children” 
  4. Recent Cases — Muzaffarpur Shelter Home case
  5. Many a times the state and district administration does not want such incidents of the rapes to go on record — they want to keep their record CLEAN! 

Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012

No time bar for reporting crimes under POCSO Act — even the survivors can report the crime when they become adult. #MeToo

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POCSO Act, 2012

POCSO Act upsc
  • India signatory to UN Convention on Rights of the Child since 1992 
  • Who is a child? — Biologically < 18 years 
  • Crimes included — Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Penetrative Sexual Assault, Aggravated Penetrative Sexual Assault
  • What is Sexual Harassment? — if a person uses words or shows body parts to a child with sexual intent, shows pornographic content 
  • For 16-18 years — consent requirement will also be considered | effect of Drugs | sleeping condition also 
  • What is Aggravated Penetrative Sexual Assault? — an offence committed by a police officer, armed personnel or public servant | Gang rape | Use of deadly weapons, fire or corrosive substances | Hospital members | Educational Institute members | <12 years | Pregnancy | Relative | Kaafi extensive provisions hai!
  • Offence also if a child is used in any pornographic film making | Even storing child pornographic movies is an offence 
  • Police has to report such an offence to Special Court within 24 hours. Special provisions for child care | if fails to report, penal provisions
  • Each district -> designate a Sessions Court as Special Court by State Govt in consultation of CJHC 
    • Complete the trial within ONE YEAR | trial shall be held in camera and in presence of child’s parents or any trusted person
    • In case a juvenile has committed such a crime -> he shall be dealt with JJA, 2015

WCD makes proposal to amend POCSO Act, 2012 

  • To make it more gender neutral and include the offence of sexual abuse to young boys less than 12 years and subsequently expanding the provision of capital punishment for the convicts
POCSO Act upsc notes
Source : IAS Baba
POCSO Act ias notes
Source : IAS Baba
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) — Khatna, Khafz, or female circumcision — first case lodged in the Apex Court
    • Age old social evil | Dawoodi Bhora Community
    • Various anti-Khatna groups protesting against the torture
    • Violative of — A. 21 
    • Permanent emotional and mental scars in young girls.
    • In Australia — similar activity — declared as an offence — conviction and punishment.
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