This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details “POCSO Act”. The topic “POCSO Act” has relevance in the Polity section for the UPSC CSE exam.

Relevance of the topic “POCSO Act”:

For Prelims:
What is POCSO Act?
What are the features of the POCSO Act?

For Mains:
GS 2: Polity and Governance
What is the significance of the POCSO Act?
Way forward 

Why in the news?

The POCSO Act has been in the news recently related to the accusations levelled against a Lok Sabha MP.

What is POCSO Act?

The POCSO Act stands for the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

It is a law implemented in India in 2012. Its purpose is to provide a legal framework for safeguarding children from sexual abuse, exploitation, and pornography. The act was introduced due to the alarming increase in incidents of sexual offenses against children, with the aim of ensuring their safety and well-being.

The POCSO Act defines various forms of sexual offenses against children and specifies severe punishments for offenders. It encompasses acts like child molestation, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and child pornography. Additionally, the act also covers non-contact offenses, such as using a child for pornographic purposes or engaging in online sexual exploitation.

What are the features of the POCSO Act?

  1. Definition of Child: In accordance with the Act, a child is defined as any individual below the age of 18 years. The Act emphasizes the rights of all children to be safeguarded from any form of sexual violence.
  2. Crimes: The Act acknowledges that engaging in any type of sexual contact with a child is considered a criminal offense. The child’s consent, deception, or coercion are irrelevant factors in determining the offense.
  3. Special courts: The act mandates the establishment of special courts to handle cases related to child sexual offenses. These courts are expected to conduct speedy trials to ensure justice for the victims.
  4. Child-friendly procedures: The act emphasizes child-friendly procedures during investigation, trial, and rehabilitation. It aims to create a safe and supportive environment for child victims or witnesses, including the provision of support persons and the recording of statements in a non-intimidating manner.
  5. Reporting: According to the Act, it is obligatory for anyone who becomes aware of an offense under the Act to promptly report it to the police or a child welfare committee. Failure to do so may result in imprisonment for up to 6 months, a fine, or both.
  6. Protection of Victim’s Identity: The Act mandates that media personnel and others involved protect the identity and privacy of the child victim. Any disclosure of information that could potentially identify the child may lead to imprisonment for up to one year, a fine, or both.
  7. Penalties: The POCSO Act prescribes stringent penalties for offenders. It includes imprisonment, fines, and the possibility of enhanced punishment for repeat offenders. The act also provides for the mandatory reporting of offenses, making it a legal obligation for individuals aware of such crimes to report them.
  8. Victim support and rehabilitation: The act emphasizes the rehabilitation and support of child victims. It includes provisions for medical assistance, counseling, and other necessary support services to aid the physical, emotional, and psychological recovery of the child.

What is the significance of the POCSO Act?

  1. Protection of Children: The act prioritizes the protection of children from sexual offenses, ensuring their safety and well-being.
  2. Increased Awareness: The act has raised awareness about child sexual abuse and related offenses, promoting discussions and preventative measures.
  3. Deterrence: Stringent penalties established by the act serve as a deterrent, discouraging offenders and creating a safer environment for children.
  4. Speedy Justice: Special courts established under the act facilitate swift trials, ensuring timely justice for victims and reducing trauma.
  5. Child-Friendly Procedures: The act emphasizes child-friendly procedures, creating a supportive environment during investigation, trial, and rehabilitation.
  6. Rehabilitation and Support: The act mandates the provision of medical assistance, counseling, and support services for the physical and psychological recovery of child victims.
  7. Reporting Obligations: Individuals are legally obligated to report child sexual offenses, promoting intervention, protection, and justice for victims.
  8. Holistic Approach: The act recognizes the long-term impact of offenses and focuses on comprehensive rehabilitation and support for victims.
  9. Safer Environment: The act contributes to the creation of a safer environment for children, promoting their well-being and protection.
  10. Legal Framework: The act provides a dedicated legal framework for addressing child sexual offenses, ensuring accountability and justice.

Way forward

It has played a crucial role in addressing child sexual abuse and promoting a safer environment for children in India.



plutus ias current affairs eng med 16th June 2023


Q.1 POCSO Act stands for?

  1. Protection of Children from Sexual Offences.
  2. Prevention of Children from Sexual Obscenity.
  3. Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences. 
  4. Protection of Children from Sexual Obscenity.

Select the correct answer from the code given below:

  1.  Option 1
  2.  Option 2
  3.  Option 3
  4.  Option 4

Answer: (c)

Q.2 Consider the following statements about the POCSO Act:

  1. The POCSO Act stands for the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
  2. The purpose of the law is to provide a legal framework for safeguarding working women from sexual abuse and exploitation on work premises.

Select the correct answer from the code given below:

  1.  1 only
  2.  2 only
  3.  Both 1 and 2
  4.  Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (a)

Mains Question

  1. Discuss the significance of the POCSO Act in protecting children from sexual offenses in India. Examine its key provisions and their impact on raising awareness, ensuring justice, and providing support to the victims.
      (Word limit: 250 words)
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