Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO)was launched by Gandhi in the presence of MoS Raj and National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Chairperson Stuti Kacker among others. Express Photo by Prem Nath Pandey.
By Express News Service
NEW DELHI: Aimed at helping victims of child sexual abuse, the government on Friday launched an E-box for online registering of such complaints.
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO), E-Box, is an online complaint management system for easy and direct reporting of sexual offences against children and timely action against the offenders under the POCSO Act, 2012.
The E-Box will help to maintain the confidentiality of the complaint.
“The idea of an e-Box came out of a police initiative in which physical complaint boxes were placed in schools,” Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said adding the E-Box will make it possible to implement it on a large scale throughout the country.
A large number of incidents of abuse are against close relatives and so they get pushed under the carpet, the minister said.
The E-Box is incorporated prominently in the home page of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) where a user has to simply push a button named POSCO E-Box. This will navigate to a page with a window containing an animation movie. The animation movie reassures the child that whatever has happened is not his or her fault and he or she need not feel guilty.
After the user presses the arrow on this page, it navigates to another page wherethey have to select at least one picture option-- describing the category of harassment-- and fill the form with details such as mobile number, e-mail and description of the harassment followed by the ‘submit’ button. Following this, the complaint is then registered and a unique auto-generated complaint number is flashed.
Speaking at the launch event Minister of State Krishna Raj said, “Those children who had no means of complaining will now have a medium to share their feelings through this e-box. Only then will we able to help them….But 70 per cent of children live in rural areas and we must worry about them as well. Don’t know whether this e-box will reach them or not. Our next step should be for those children in rural areas who are victims of sexual abuse but may not have access to modern gadgets.”
According to government data, sexual offences against children are rampant but only a small percentage gets reported. About 53 percent of children surveyed, reported having faced one or the other form of sexual abuse in their lifetime.
In most cases, the offender is a family member or near relative or an acquaintance. The child victim in such cases generally does not report these offences.
Sexual abuse scars the psyche of the affected child for entire life. A child who is sexually abused has to face very serious consequences such as cognitive impairment, violent and risk behaviour including depression and anxiety.
The government enacted POCSO Act, 2012 to protect such children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography. Any human being up to the age of 18 years is recognised as a child under the POCSO Act.