Reports submitted by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the US have revealed shocking facts in connection with child pornography material on the internet in India. According to the said reports submitted to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), more than 25,000 cases of suspected child pornography material have been put across various social media platforms in the past five months.
The reports further revealed that Delhi topped the list of states involved in uploading Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) over the internet, The Indian Express quoted a home ministry official as saying.
Sources said that cases forwarded to the other top states for the last five months, up to January 23, 2020, were in the same numerical range. Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are the other top states on the list of uploading child pornography material across social media platforms.
A state-wise breakup data of all states involved was not readily available, however, it was reported that the details of 1,700 cases were passed on to the cyber unit of the state by the NCRB.
Several FIRs have been registered on the basis of reports provided by the NCMEC, the home ministry official said, adding, the police have also arrested various people for the same.
Maharashtra received these details last month while several other states received the inputs earlier. Police in Delhi, Gujarat and Kerala are among those that have already made arrests in some of these cases.
In June last year, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) (Amendment) Bill, 2019, widened the definition of child pornography. It now covers any visual depiction, including “photograph, video, digital or computer-generated image indistinguishable from an actual child, and image created, adapted, or modified, but appear to depict a child”.
Officials said several of the cases registered will include the amended sections.
What is NCMEC?
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) is a private, nonprofit organization established in 1984 by the United States Congress. In September 2013, the United States House of Representatives, United States Senate, and the President of the United States reauthorized the allocation of $40 million in funding for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children as part of Missing Children's Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2013. The current chair of the organization is child safety advocate Patty Wetterling, mother of Jacob Wetterling.
The NCMEC works with families of victims and law enforcement to deter and combat child sexual exploitation apart from working on other similar issues related to children.