Asserting that minor boys are the “most neglected victims of sexual abuse”, Union Minister for Woman and Child Development (WCD) Maneka Gandhi, on Wednesday, wrote to chief ministers of all states and union territories to include male child victims in the victim compensation scheme.
While pointing out that the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act is “gender neutral” and is meant to safeguard interests of both the girl and the boy child, she asked the chief ministers to ensure that male child victims were disbursed compensation as well as the interim compensation, required to meet the medical, relief, rehabilitation needs without any delay.
Quoting data from National Commission for Protection of Child Rights — the apex body for child rights — the minister said although 31 states notified their Victim Compensation Scheme under the POCSO Rules, the disbursements “has not been uniform or satisfactory”.
In the wake of the Kathua gangrape and murder, the minister had proposed to move an amendment to the POCSO Act to ensure enhanced punishments for sexual offences against children — both girls and boys.
However, the Ordinance cleared by the Union Cabinet had amended only the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act that covers only girl victims. WCD ministry officials said they were planning to introduce amendments in the Bill.
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