Shield against child abuse soon
A SEPARATE and more stringent law will soon be in place to protect children against any form of abuse — be it at home or outside. The draft Offences Against Children Act, 2006 - proposed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and approved by the MHA -- has been circulated among the states for their comments.
The draft bill outlines the ministry's intent to crack down on those who sexually assault or abuse children. It defines the nature of all forms of assaults comprehensively and, for the first time, brings oral sex within the purview of law.
Punishment will be more stringent than now. For sexual assault, the minimum punishment will be 12 years RI with a fine or life imprisonment. For sexual abuse, the maximum is ten years simple imprisonment with fine and the minimum punishment will depend on the child's age.
Abusive parents and teachers can be jailed for five years and fined.