POCSO full form stands for Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses. However, before knowing the rules and regulations of this act, let us understand what is POCSO? With the ever-increasing crime rate against women and children, it is imperative to have stringent laws to ensure their safety. POCSO act aims to curb the issue of violence against children. A lot of cases go unreported since people fear the stigma associated with the same. The government reassures that the perpetrator is the one who should feel the shame and not the victim. The act re-emphasizes and mandates that all such cases must be reported and that the identity of the victim will be protected at all costs.
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) was passed by the parliament in 2012 with the goal of effectively combating the evils of sexual exploitation and abuse of children.
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act, 2012, which is a comprehensive law to protect children from offences of sexual assault, harassment, and pornography, is being modified by the proposed legislation in order to protect the interests of children at every stage of the judicial process.
Smriti Irani, the minister for women and child development, proposed the POCSO Bill, 2019, for discussion and approval. She claimed that in order to stop child pornography, the Bill should call for jail time and penalties.
Salient Features of the POCSO Act
- Individuals under the age of 18 are children
- It will be considered aggravated sexual assault if the act is committed by someone in a position of power/trust such as a doctor, teacher, family member, etc.
- Another important feature of the POCSO Act is that it does not create any distinction between the victim or the perpetrators on the basis of their gender.
- Special courts can be established to hear cases that fall under the POCSO act.
- Immodest behavior against children will fall under this act and stringent actions will be taken.
- Is POCSO Act bailable?
The POCSO Act is a non-bailable and cognizable offence. The sexual harassment of a child is punishable under section 12 of the POCSO Act 2012.
- How long is POCSO Act punishable?
Anyone found guilty of a POCSO crime can face imprisonment of up to 20 years. Moreover, there is a provision for the death penalty in case of aggravated penetrative sexual assault.
- What is the age of the POCSO Act?
The POCSO Act criminalizes all sexual activities that happen to any child under the age of 18 years.