Prelims Level
Mains Level

Why in News?

  • The government has clarified that there is no time bar on reporting crimes related to child sexual abuse.
  • Survivors of child sexual abuse can file a police complaint after they become adults.
  • The WCD Ministry has recently consulted Ministry of Law in view of the overriding provisions of the POCSO Act over other criminal laws and provisions of mandatory reporting of such offences.

No time limit for reporting cases under POCSO Act:

  • The POCSO Act does not provide for any period of limitation for reporting the child sexual offences.
  • Now any victim, at any age, can complain the sexual abuse faced by him/her as a child.
  • Ministry urged the victims to report the cases through POCSO e-Box.

Need for the move?

  • Children are often unable to report such crimes as the perpetrator in most cases is either a family member, a relative or closely known person.
  • Studies have also shown that the child continues to carry the trauma of sexual abuse till very late in life.
  • In order to overcome this trauma many grown up people have started coming out to report the abuse faced by them as children.

Significance:

  • This is an important step for survivors of child abuse, who may try to file a complaint as adults but are turned away at police stations.
  • The development assumes significance after considering the fact that on many occasions children are unable to report crimes that they suffered as the perpetrator in many cases happens to be from the family itself or any other known person. Several cases have been reported where the victims have grown up and understood the crime.

POCSO Act:

  • The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), Act 2012, came into force on 14.11.2012. It is a gender neutral Act which has been enacted to strengthen the legal provisions for the protection of children from sexual abuse and exploitation.The POCSO Act, 2012 defines a child as any person below the age of 18 years and provides protection to all children under the age of 18 years from the offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography.
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