Inspite of repeated efforts by the Government and the passing of several legal jurisdictions, India still continues to be one of the biggest contributor and consumer of child abuse contents. But latest data published by India Child Protection Fund (ICPF) has revealed an even more disturbing trend, especially as the nation continues battling the pandemic COVID-19 amidst a tight lockdown since March 23.
According to the India Child Protection Fund (ICPF), the online data monitoring websites are showing an increase in demand for searches like ‘Child Porn’, ‘Sexy Child’ and ‘Teen Sex Videos’. Data from Pornhub, the world’s largest pornography website in the world, also reveals that traffic from India has increased by 95% between March 24 & March 26 2020, as compared to their average traffic, pre-corona virus, the ICPF claimed.
The report reveals a 200% spike in demand for content which displays children ‘choking’, ‘bleeding’ and ‘tortured’. Metro cities like New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai, besides many Tier II and capital cities, which are seeing a sharp increase in corona virus cases, have been red-flagged by the study as hotspots for child pornography, the ICPF said. ICPF has warned that millions of paedophiles have reverted to online consumption, making the internet unsafe for children. It added that without stringent action, this could result in a drastic rise in sexual crimes against children. The report cites Europol, United Nations, ECPAT reports which say that children are now more prone to online grooming and sexual coercion, and also refers to recent news of the ‘Childline India’ helpline reporting more than 92000 SOS calls asking for protection from abuse and violence in 11 days of the lockdown.
A crackdown has already been initiated in India, most of which involves using technology to track unlawful content, especially on social media platforms. At the same time, organizations like ICPF are stepping up to warn authorities of such dangerous trends at a time like this.
Deccan Herald Article on April 20(https://www.deccanherald.com/national/online-search-for-child-pornography-escalates-after-lockdown-in-india-827602.html)
Vice.com article on 14 April 2020 by Pallavi Pundir(https://www.vice.com/en_in/article/jgez3x/disturbing-child-porn-trends-from-india-during-lockdown)