Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, provides enough protection to children as strong rules have been framed under the Act. According to the legislation, not reporting the abuse of a child despite being aware of the exploitation is an offence, Renni D’Souza, director of Padi, a non-governmental organisation that deals with children’s issues, has said.

Addressing the gathering at a workshop on issues related to children organised for the police personnel serving in special juvenile police units here on Friday, he said the Act had specifically categorised sexual offences and clearly mentioned the punishment for each of them. As per the Act, a special court in each district should be set up for the speedy trail and timely resolution of child-abuse cases. A special public prosecutor should be appointed in all such special courts, he said. Mr. D’Souza said that according to the provisions of the Act, sexual-abuse victims were entitled to compensation. No false complaint could be filed in the name of a child. Filing such complaints was an offence, he said.

The workshop was organised for police personnel under the National Initiative for Child Protection Programme by the different stakeholders involved in the protection of children.

Asha Nayak, chairperson, Dakshina Kannada Child Welfare Committee, said that children enjoyed right to life and right to participation. Their rights should be respected. If a child was found abandoned, the police should take the child into custody and immediately take the child to a doctor so that he/she could receive timely treatment. Many police personnel were not doing this, she said. Ms. Nayak said that all foundlings should be handed over to the Child Welfare Committee.

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