Maneka Gandhi, Minister for women and child development, has affirmed that Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act 2012 is gender neutral. She has written to all states and union territories asking them to ensure that male child survivors of sexual abuse are included in the victim compensation scheme.

Asserts POSCO Act is gender neutral

The minister pointed out that the POCSO Act is meant to safeguard interests of both the girl and boy child. She asked chief ministers to ensure male child survivors are provided compensation to meet medical and rehabilitation relief needs without delay.

Gandhi pointed out data available with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights. It states that though 31 state governments have notified the survivor compensation scheme under Rule 7, POCSO Rules, 2012, the distribution of compensation has not been uniform or satisfactory.

The minister directed that compensation, including interim compensation, must be given to the survivor on time. She mentioned some states aren’t providing interim compensation to child survivors to meet their medical and other needs.

POSCO Rules

The POCSO Rules, 2012 (Rule 7) states that the special court may on its own or on application, filled by or on behalf of the child, pass an order for interim compensation to meet immediate needs of the child for relief after registration of the FIR.
The compensation, awarded by the special court, has to be paid by state government from victims compensation fund. In case the fund doesn’t exist, relief must be given under any other scheme established by the state for the purposes of compensating victims under Section 357A of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Also, state government has to pay the compensation within 30 days of receipt of court order. It is mentioned that nothing in these rules prevent a child, or any other person whom the child trusts, from submitting an application for seeking relief under any scheme of the Union government or state government.
After the Kathua gangrape and murder, Maneka Gandhi had proposed to move an amendment to the POCSO Act. It was to ascertain enhanced punishments for sexual offences against children, both girls and boys. The ordinance, however, cleared by the Union Cabinet, amended only the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act that covers only girl victims.

Bhawana is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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