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“Safety and security don't just happen; they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.”
~ Nelson Mandela
The children are the precious gift of God to man, they are considered to be a significant national asset of a country, as the future of every nation depends on how its children grow and develop. The protection of children from all forms of exploitation and violence has become the key priority of our society at the present time. There have been many cases of child trafficking in the form of sexual assault, child marriage, undernourishment, verbal abuse, child prostitution and child labor, which have indirectly exposed our society's inability to protect our future generations. Child security is seen as one of the core obligations of both the government and society, taking into account the difficulties and problems faced by children.
Pursuant to Article 15(3) of the Constitution of India, special provisions for children must be provided by the State. Article 39 of Part IV of the Constitution requires the State to direct its policy towards ensuring that children are not abused; that they are not coerced by economic necessity to join an occupation which is unfit for their age or strength; and that they are given opportunities to grow in a healthy manner and under conditions of freedom and dignity, shielded from moral and material abandonment.
LEGAL DEFINITION OF CHILD
In accordance with the United Nations Convention on Rights of the Child (UNCRC), "Child means every human being under the age of 18 unless, according to the law applicable to the child, the majority is reached earlier." This allows the different countries the right to set the age limit to decide who the child is. There are a variety of laws in India that define the term child, depending on the intent. Under the Indian Majority Act, 1875 the age of majority is eighteen years and under the Child Labor Act, 1986, child means a person who has not completed his or her fourteenth year of age. Under the Child Marriage Restricted Act, 1926, child means a person who, if a male, has not completed twenty-one years of age and, if a female, has not completed eighteen years of age. Under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000, a juvenile is a person who is not eighteen years of age.
PROTECTION OF CHILD UNDER IPC
Under the IPC there are many provisions and sections for the protection of child.
According to Section 82 of the Indian Penal Code, nothing is an offense committed by a child under the age of seven, and Section 83 states that nothing is an offense committed by a child above the age of seven and under the age of twelve. As in this age, children may not be mature enough to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong. The child would not be conscious of the consequences of his or her actions. He/she is incapable of knowing good and evil, which means that he/she is completely Dole Incapax.
Section 305 of the Indian Penal Code provides for the abetment of suicide if a person under the age of eighteen commits suicide and if he or she does so under someone's abetment, the person shall be punished under the penalty of the act.
Section 315 refers to Infanticides in the Indian Penal Code which fall within the category of crimes against children. This section of the IPC provides for punishment for the act of killing an infant. Here, Section 316 of the Indian Penal Code provides that a feticide is committed by any person who commits the act of causing the death of a quick unborn child by an act of guilty murder.
Section 317 sets out the exposure and abandonment of a child under the age of twelve by the parent or person who is responsible for the child. Exposure and abandonment by the father or mother of a child under the age of 12 shall be punished for the same.
Section 369 of the Indian Penal Code provides for the punishment of abduction of a child under the age of ten with the intention of stealing from his person.
Section 366A of the IPC provides for the punishment of the procreation of minor girls (for inducement to force or seduce, to illicit intercourse). This section sets out the action to ensure the protection of the girl child in India against the said crime.
CONCLUSION The children are future of the nation and hence are very essential, the law is working relentlessly to protect children who are coerced into child labor, who are exploited in the community, trafficked and impacted by calamity or emergency situations. They are saved from facing different kinds of harm – cruelty, neglect, exploitation, physical danger and crime. Also, there are many Safeguards Provided for Protection of Child under IPC, some sections are Section 82, 305, 315,369,366A of the Indian Penal Code, these sections protect children from various crimes against them.
1. LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILD RIGHTS IPLEADERS, https://blog.ipleaders.in/legal-framework-protection-child-rights/#:~:text=Laws%20which%20bind%20the%20protection%20of%20the%20child%20in%20India, INDIAN%20PENAL%20CODE&text=According%20to%20Section%2082%20of,of%20age%20and%20under%20twelve. (last visited Feb 4, 2021).
2. Ranchhoddas et al. Ratanlal & Dhirajlal's The Indian penal code: (Act XLV of 1860) (LexisNexis) (2014).