New rules come to aid of child victims of sexual offences
New Delhi: Child victims of sexual offences will now get swift and adequate compensation as well as immediate medical care and rehabilitaion with the Government on Wednesday notifying new rules.
As per the new rules under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, state governments shall pay compensation ordered by Special Court within 30 days of receipt court orders, officials said.
Special Courts would award compensation to child after taking into account a host of relevant factors ranging from the injury caused to the victim, to the expenditure on medical treatment to whether the victim became pregnant or contracted a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) as a result of the offence.
Official sources said that loss of educational opportunity or employment, the relationship of the child to the offender, whether the abuse was an isolated incident or had taken place over a period of time and the financial condition of the victim would be assessed to determine the child`s need for rehabilitation and compensation.
Under the new rules, special courts may also consider other factors which they consider relevant before awarding compensation.
The sources said that special courts can even pass an order for interim compensation to meet the immediate needs of the child for relief or rehabilitation at any stage after registration of the First Information Report.
The states will provide compensation from the Victims Compensation Fund or other funds established by it.
Whenever the Special Juvenile Police Units, Child Welfare Officers or the local police has a reasonable apprehension that the offence has been committed, the Child Welfare Committee shall assess whether the child needs to be taken out of the custody of his guardians and placed in a children’s home or a shelter home.
If a child requires emergency medical care, officials have to take the victim to the nearest hospital or medical care facility.
More importantly medical practitioners or hospitals are not expected to demand any legal or magisterial requisition or other documentation before providing medical care to child victims.
The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and the State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights(SCPCR) are expected to monitor the constitution of State Juvenile Protection Units, Child Welfare Committees (CWC) and other structures prescribed by the Juvenile Justice Act.
In a statement released here, the Women and Child Welfare Ministry said that the rules framed under the Act provide for "qualifications and experience of interpreters, translators, special educators, and experts, arrangements for care and protection and emergency medical treatment of the child".
They provide for "compensation payable to a child who has been the victim of a sexual offence; and the manner of periodic monitoring of the provisions of the Act by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and State Commissions for Protection of Child Rights."
"The rules rely on the structures established under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000, such as Child Welfare Committees and District Child Protection Units, to make arrangements for the care and protection of the child and to ensure that the child is not re-victimised in the course of investigation and trial," the statement added.
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