Guidelines for the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, are being finalised
The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) which had initiated the process of drafting model guidelines for the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, that has come into force from November 14, 2012, is now finalising these guidelines and they are slated to be released soon.
WCD Minister Krishna Tirath said recently: “The Ministry is working at finalising the guidelines. However, the Act also requires the State governments to prepare guidelines for the use of professionals and non- government organisations to assist the child at the pre-trial and trial stages.”
Meanwhile, based on the requests it received from a number of State governments, the WCD Ministry is framing the model guidelines to provide guidance to the State governments so as to enable them to draft their own guidelines expeditiously as required under the Act.
“The draft model guidelines prepared by the Ministry were earlier shared in a national consultation held in Delhi on May 31 with various stakeholders, including State governments, non-government organisations, medical and mental health experts, advocates and child development experts. The Ministry is currently finalising these guidelines based on the suggestions received from various stakeholders,” said Ms. Tirath.
The guidelines are based on the fundamental principles laid down in the Preamble of the POCSO Act, 2012, which include best interest of the child, right to life and survival, right to be treated with dignity and compassion, right to be protected from discrimination, right to be informed, right to participation, right to safety, right to compensation, etc.
“These guidelines are being prepared for the use of non-governmental organisations, professionals and experts in the field of health, including mental and physical health; child development; law; social work; and forensic science. These we hope will facilitate the functioning of the experts in the pre-trial and trial stage,” noted a senior official at the Ministry.