The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012

The Act protects children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography and provides for establishment of special courts for trial of such offences and for matters connected with or incidental thereof.

Constitutional Provisions

Article 21

  • Right to Medical Care
  • Right to Shelter
  • Right to Food
  • Right to Education
  • Right to Health Environment
  • Right to Privacy
  • Right to Livelihood

Article 21 of the Constitution of India which protects the right to life and dignity includes the right of free and compulsory education to children up to 14 years of age. Any form of harassment, discrimination or corporal punishment amounts to abuse and militates against the freedom and dignity of a child. It also interferes with a child’s right to education because fear makes children more likely to avoid school or to drop out altogether. Hence, corporal punishment is violative of the right to life with dignity.

Article 21A of the Constitution provides that “the State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine.” This fundamental right has been made operational with the enactment of the RTE Act, 2009.

Article 39(e) directs the State to work progressively to ensure that “the tender ages of children are not abused”. Article 39() directs the State to work progressively to ensure that ‘children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.’

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act

Child Protection Day, 2017

Assam is the first state in India to have officially declared “Child Protection Day” to be celebrated every year on 4th March with an aim to provide a platform to raise voice against all forms of violence and discrimination against children and also to mobilize, create and enable space for collective thinking and sharing among all concerned stakeholders and duty bearers.

Assam among few other states is considered to have the highest number of cases reported against child abuse and assault. Many cases never come to light as because no one notices that the child has been abused. It has become a matter of concern for a developing state like Assam where cases of child sexual abuse, child labour and child marriage are still in practice in the rural as well as urban areas.

Therefore, it is highly recommended for other states to initiate on implementing such protection programmes or schemes in Government and Government Aided
schools. Child protection programmes will not only protect the child from abuse and assault but will also help creating awareness in the community.

Also Read – Components of School Safety

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