New Rules Come to Aid of Child Victims of Sexual Offenses
According to new rules under India’s Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, child victims will receive compensation and immediate medical care and rehabilitation. State governments will pay compensation ordered by the special court within 30 days of the receipt of court orders.
A special court will award compensation to the victim after considering relevant factors including injury to the victim, cost of medical treatment, and whether the victim became pregnant or contracted an STD. Loss of educational opportunity or employment, the relationship of the child to the offender, whether the abuse was an isolated incident or had been perpetrated over a period of time, and the financial condition of the victim would also be assessed to determine the need for rehabilitation and compensation. In addition, the courts may consider other factors they deem relevant. The courts can also order interim compensation to meet the immediate needs of the victim for relief or rehabilitation at any stage after registration of the first information report. The compensation will come from the victims’ compensation fund or other funds established by the state.
When the special juvenile police units, child welfare officer, or local police are satisfied that the offense had been committed, the child welfare committee will assess whether the child should be removed from custody of the guardians and placed in a shelter or children’s home. The victim will also receive care at the nearest hospital or medical care facility if necessary. The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights and the State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights will monitor state juvenile protection units, child welfare committees, and other structures that come under the Juvenile Justice Act. Also, the act provides for interpreters, translators, special educators, and experts.
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