The Union Cabinet on Friday approved amendments to Sections 4, 5 and 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act to include the death penalty for those found guilty of aggravated assault on children.

“Our children should be protected from sexual offences,” NDTV quoted Union Human Resource Development Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad as saying. “It is to ensure this that the Cabinet has approved amendments to the POCSO Act. Now, those taking advantage of children in heinous ways will be severely punished.”

The Cabinet cleared amendments to Section 9 of the law to protect children from sexual offences during natural calamities and disasters, the Press Information Bureau said. The amendments are also intended to protect children from being administered hormones or chemical substances to speed up growth.

The Cabinet also approved amendments to Section 14 and 15 of the law to tackle child pornography. According to these amendments, a fine will be levied for not destroying, deleting or reporting pornographic material involving children.