Govt approves changes in POCSO Act, includes death penalty for sexual offences against children

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  1. The Union Cabinet has approved an amendment to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act, 2012.
  2. The amendment provides for stringent punishment, including death penalty, for sexual assault of children.
  3. The amendments also provide for levy of fines and imprisonment to curb child pornography.
  4. Amendments are also proposed to protect children from sexual offences in times of natural calamities.
  5. The amendments are aimed to establish clarity regarding the aspects of child abuse and punishment thereof.
  6. It is expected to discourage the trend of child sexual abuse by acting as a deterrent due to strong penal provisions incorporated in the Act
  7. Further, it will protect the interest of vulnerable children in times of distress and ensures their safety and dignity.
  8. The POCSO Act, 2012 was enacted to protect the children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography.
  9. The Act defines a child as any person below eighteen years of age. Further, the Act is gender neutral.