Protect the Vulnerable from Abuse | Child Sexual Abuse in India

Corporeally, mentally, and sexually harming, mistreatment, abuse, neglect, or deprivation of any child is termed child abuse. Widely prevalent yet under-reported, child sexual abuse in India continues to breed in our society. We must identify the root cause of this evil and work towards banishing it entirely; the solution is awareness and confrontation. Most of the time, children are not able to grasp the gravity of events; because of this lack of knowledge and dependence on their abusers, they are often unable to convey that they have been abused or mistreated. As responsible adults, we must be their advocates; we must support and encourage them to stand firm and speak up.
The Constitution of India, Article 15(3), supports the administration to make special provisions for children. Article 39 of Part IV of the Constitution ensures the state directs its policy towards securing children from any form of abuse. It makes certain that children are not part of any activity that hampers their growth and development. It also works towards providing susceptible children with health care, education, and a secure environment. Even today, laws against child abuse are being tested by defaulters whose actions don't get punished.
In our endeavor to protect those who are vulnerable, we must understand the laws established to fight abuse against children. Here are a few laws against child abuse to help you know the nation's representatives' initiative.
a) The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, is India's elementary law dealing with children in need of care and protection.
b) The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), 2012, combats sexual violence against children.
c) The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, introduces numerous new sexual offenses under the Indian Penal Act, like Section 376(2)(i), IPC, which punishes rape of a female under 16 years.
Legal agencies also need to be aware and supportive if such an occasion arises. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act makes it unlawful to observe and not report suspected child abuse. Additionally, 'e- box' is an online reporting system commenced by The Ministry of Women and Child Development that enables children to anonymously report occurrences of inappropriate touching and molestation, which are acknowledged by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
Collaborating with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), Save the Children commenced the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Care and Protection of Children in Street Situations. The proceedings taken for restoration and rehabilitation include getting them listed with Aadhaar cards, health insurance, bank accounts, and monetary funding for families to help meet the medical and dietary necessities of a child. It also brings together children into groups to educate them and build awareness to fight against child marriages, trafficking, abuse, child labour, and other evils threatening their innocence.
Have you done your part yet? Join us, volunteer with Save the Children!

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