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End Online Child Sexual Abuse

While instances of online child sexual abuse are on the rise, the lack of acknowledgment and sensitivity amongst Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) towards dealing with cases of online child sexual abuse delays response to the complaints received. However, there are three possible scenarios in which law enforcement agencies probe online child sexual abuse cases - 

  • sexually abused, filmed, and blackmailed, leading to further abuse. In many such cases, the victim is traced and rescued.When the child is

  • Police in India generate information through intermediaries; people involved in circulating and exchanging Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) are identified; related sections under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, and the Information Technology Act, 2000, are pressed against the offenders.

  • NCMEC, Interpol, and other designated agencies flag the Indian IP addresses to the National Crime Records Bureau, which further passes this information to States/UTs through the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal; people watching downloading, and circulating CSAM are prosecuted.

  • ICP raises awareness about how perpetrators trap children online and partners with central and state governments and law enforcement agencies and works with them to enhance reporting, response, regulation, tracking, monitoring, and rehabilitation for victims of online sexual abuse.

Need

  • As per the NCRB data, 1861 children were victims of online sexual abuse in India in 2022.
     

  • The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) 'Cyber Tipline 2022 Report' states that out of the 32 million reports received, 5.6 million reports pertained to CSAM uploaded by the perpetrators based out of India.

 

Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) is a global problem and unfortunately, India is not immune to it. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of reported cases of CSAM, and these have seen an exponential increase since the pandemic. CSAM includes images and videos of children being sexually abused, exploited or depicted in a sexual manner. There is no standardised mechanism for the detection and prosecution of CSAM cases, identification and rehabilitation of victims is also a challenge. Compounded by its cross-border nature, addressing this issue requires international collaboration and cohesive strategies.
 

Approach

Aim: To initiate action in 10,000 CSAM cases. And, extend technical assistance to police in 6 states to curb digital and online child sexual abuse.


Through the implementation of a systematic, highly focused, and intensive intervention model, we can effectively address the root causes of such heinous crimes. 


Introducing the PICKET strategy which offers a holistic and time-bound approach to tackle the issue of CSAM –

  • Policy intervention for prevention, protection, prosecution, regulation, monitoring, rehabilitation, and tracking of financial transactions. 

  • Investment in research, infrastructure and technology, capacity building, strengthening of institutions, and victim identification and rehabilitation.

  • Convergence, Coordination, and Cooperation between various stakeholders, bodies, agencies, and internet service providers at international, national and district levels.

  • Knowledge and awareness enhancement of all stakeholders such as children, parents, law enforcement agencies, judiciary, and institutions for prevention, enhanced reporting, time-bound investigation, and prosecution.

  • Ecosystem for promoting safe online space through behavioural change, convergence among different stakeholders, and by affixing accountability of all stakeholders at different levels.

  • Technology usage for investigation, regulation, monitoring, maintaining of database, and time-bound dissemination of information.

Action

  • Technology and training support to police and government

  • Policy and institutional strengthening for reporting, response mechanism, regulation, tracking, monitoring, and rehabilitation of victims

  • Intervention in pending cases through legal guidance and technical support to police

  • Targeted stakeholder awareness and inclusion of digital literacy in school curriculum

  • Expanding evidence and knowledge through research

  • Targeted deterrence messaging on public web

  • Legal aid to the victims to reintegrate and reinstate back into society

  • Counselling support as part of every case, with mental health interventions where needed 

  • Investment in technologies and software to tackle CSAM cases at all stages

  • Partnership at Central and State level law enforcement agencies 

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