Child law is Protection of children is the most important aspect of a country. Where the growing generation is safeguarded properly, the country will see prosperity.
To understand child law in India one has to know who is considered as a child.
The term ‘Child’ comes from the Latin word ‘Infans’ which means ‘the one who does not speak’.
The Conventions on the Right of the Child of 1989 defines precisely the term ‘Child’:
“[…] a child is any human being below the age of eighteen years unless, under the law applicable to the child, the majority is attained earlier.”
According to Section 2(d) of the POCSO Act, 2012, ‘Child’ means any person below the age of eighteen years,
Need for Child Protection
When we talk about protection and safeguarding society the first thing that comes to mind is the protection of child. Children are the most vulnerable part of society. The innocence of children is largely manipulated and corrupted. It is not that such a situation of vulnerability of children arose in today’s world. It has been present from time immemorial. However, with time and the development of technology the intensity of such crime has increased.
To safeguard the children from such offenses there should be proper implementation of the laws enacted. And with such if there is an act of child abuse such should be informed to the police officials. That is where the whole process lacks. Most of the time such crimes are not informed to the authorities due to fear It not only includes the protection of the children but also understanding their Social, Psychological and Emotional Insecurity and Distress.
Child abuse is the talk of the hour. There is a steep rise in crimes against children. The reason for their innocence has made them most easy to exploit their innocence. Sexually, physically, psychologically they are becoming prey. This has led to the formation of provisions and acts for the protection of children.
The reason they are made the prey because most of the time they don’t even understand that they are been abused. Now, schools are even providing education regarding child abuse so that they understand and distinguish ‘good touch’ and ‘bad touch’, assault, molestation, etc.
Sometimes, even after the abuse has been taking place multiple times no steps have been taken to stop such acts. No provisions and acts can bring a change if no steps are taken to stop such acts from happening. The reason behind being reluctant from taking necessary steps is that the fear of being highlighted in the public. The idea to protect family integrity most of the time is the main reason for not lodging a case against the perpetrator. So, it is very important that the children should be taught accordingly and also inform if any wrongful act takes place against them. Secondly and most importantly parents, guardians, any family members, teachers should never overlook if the child complains of any unusual thing taking place against them.
Where there is sexual exploitation taking place against children in a large number there is another issue that is on the rise i.e., child labor. Child labor is a problem that will continue to be a part of India till then time poverty has a hold on largely. In the urge to increase the income, children are forced to work by their own parents. Most of the places of work are hire children because of two reasons:
- The owner of such a workplace hires children to work rather than an adult because they get the opportunity to pay less for more work.
- As such an act is illegal the places of work are such that is hidden so that it does to get raided by police authorities. So those places end up being hazardous in itself only.
Rise in Crime Against Children
The life of people is no more as simple as it used to be. The complexities in life have brought horribleness to be faced. And such horribleness are been faced by children. Sometimes the child is suffering abuse not outside but in the child’s own home. In that case, the child is facing abuse from a place where the safeguard is to be provided. This is the reason the protection provided by the legislation has been toughened.
With the development in technology and the invention of social media,a crime against children has reached the peak of destruction. While there has been a lot of benefit for the availability of social media as a source of connecting with people it has become a hub of crime as well. For child predators is the safest place to sit and get their work done. Furthermore, it has raised complexity in catching the criminal as well. A person sitting in the USA can abuse a child living in India. The result maybe is that the predator may never be caught. Even if there are laws but it needs strong and effective implementation as well. And such is in the stage of development right now. With the passage of time, it is hoped that there becomes an improvement in implementation.
The Government of India has provided laws and Acts specifically for the protection of children. Such is discussed below:-
- INDIAN PENAL CODE, 1860
- PREVENTION OF CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL OFFENCES ACT, 2005
- THE NARCOTIC DRUGS & PSYCHOTROPIC SUBSTANCE ACT, 1985
- THE PREVENTION OF ILLICIT TRAFFIC IN NARCOTIC DRUGS & PSYCHOTROPIC SUBSTANCE ACT, 1988
- JUVENILE JUSTICE (CARE & PROTECTION OF CHILDREN) ACT, 2015
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