The Protection of Child from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POSCO)

The protection of children from sexual offence Act (POCSO act ) was formulated in order to effectively address sexual exploitation of children .The protection of children from sexual offence Act, 2012 received the president's assent on 19th  June 2012 and was notified in the Gazette of India on 20th June 2012.

The Protection of Child from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POSCO)

The Act defines a child as any person below 18 year of age. It denied different form of Sexual abuse including penetrative and non-penetrative assault, as well as sexual harassment and pornography. It 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 or trust or authority like a family member, a police officer, a teacher, or a doctor. The act also casts a duty upon the police personal to receive a report of sexual abuse of child and also given the responsibility of making urgent arrangement for the child and placing the children in a shelter home and bridging the matter in front of CWC.

The act further makes provisions of avoiding the re-victimization of the child at the hands of the Judicial system. It provides special courts for the conduct of trial in camera and without revealing the identity of the child, in a manner that is a  child friendly. Hence, the child may have a parent or other trusted person present at the time of testifying and call for assistance from the interpreter, special educator or other professional giving. Above all, the Act stipules that case  of child sexual abuse must be disposed off within one year from the date when the offence is reported.

The act also provided for mandatory reporting of sexual offences. That casts a legal duty upon a person who has knowledge that a child has been sexually abused to report the offence; if he fail to do so , he may be punished with six months' imprisonment and or a fine .

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