India moves to protect its 430 million children, with death for sexual assaulters and much more


  • The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
  • Those who commits aggravated penetrative sexual assault will be liable of at least 20 years of rigourous imprisonment.
  • The bill will grant legal protection to nearly one-third of children in India (430 million), regardless of the gender.
  • It makes child pornograpgy a punishable offence.
India is all set to crack down on child abusers, and make stringent laws to net and punish these offenders.

As per Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019, those who commit aggravated penetrative sexual assault will be liable of at least 20 years of rigourous imprisonment. The law also makes a provision for death sentence to such offenders.

Gender neutral approach

Smriti Irani, Women and Child Development Minister who moved the bill sought a gender-neutral approach on offences against children. The aim is to protect its 430 million children, regardless of the gender.

The new law will also crack down on child pornography, refers to it as “visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a child." This includes photography, video, digital or computer generated images.

Now, those convicted relating to child pornography will receive a five-year jail term. For those who repeat the offence, the punishment can stretch to seven years, with fine.

Irani noted that defining child pornography is the need of the hour, considering the ill-activities from the past. For instance, an online platform showcasing child pornography attracted nearly 5,000 followers.

Unanimous support

The bill calls for the parents to have transparency with their children. “In a majority of the cases either the children don’t tell their parents what has happened to them or the parents ask the children to remain silent about it," Mint reported citing Danish Ali of Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP).

The amendments in the bill received a nod from the members of the Parliament. In fact, the Parliament witnessed members cutting across party lines in support of the bill.

“I thank everyone for unanimously supporting this bill. I want to say that I share their angst that justice should be done and I also share their concern with regard to implementation. The way MPs rose above party lines is exemplary," Irani told the House.

It has already been cleared in the upper house on 29 July, and is awaiting President’s nod.

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