Child sexual abuse cases reported on various platforms since March cross 13,000: Centre

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Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani on Tuesday said that the child sexual abuse cases reported from March 2020 onwards on various platforms has crossed 13,000. The data is of the crimes from March 1 to September 18.

Speaking in Rajya Sabha, Irani said, “As reported by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the total number of child pornography/rape and gang rape complaints lodged in the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal (NCRP) from 01.03.2020 to 18.09.2020 is 13244.”

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As reported by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), information of 420 cases of child sexual abuse has been received by NCPCR from March 1 till August 31 via online portals, helplines and other media. As reported by Childline India Foundation (CIF), 3,941 calls have been received by CIF regarding child sexual cases from March 1 to September 15.

“Police” and “Public Order” are state subjects as per Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India. Action in cases of child sex abuse is taken by concerned Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) as per the extant provisions of law.

The Central Government has taken several measures to fast track investigations in cases of child sexual abuse. These steps include mechanism for online reporting of child sex abuse cases, accessibility of reported incidents to concerned Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), improving cyber forensic facilities, training of Law Enforcement Officers/Judges/ Public Prosecutors, spreading awareness etc.

The government implements a scheme for setting up of 1,023 Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs) for expeditious trial and disposal of cases related to rape and POCSO Act. As on August 26, there are 597 FTSCs functional out of which 321 are exclusive POCSO courts.

Section 43 of the POCSO Act provides that the Central Government and every State Government shall take all measures to give wide publicity to the provisions of the Act. In accordance with this, the Government has taken various steps from time to time to create awareness of the provisions of the POCSO Act through electronic and print media, consultations, workshops and training programmes with stakeholders concerned.

Various other steps taken include sending messages through telecom service providers, messages through Government’s twitter handle CyberDost, conducting cyber awareness programmes in different cities, radio spots/jingles on FM Radio, publishing of handbook for Adolescents/Students, and introduction of a chapter on cyber security in CBSE syllabus etc.

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCRs), who are mandated to monitor the implementation of the POCSO Act, have developed and circulated information, education and communication (IEC) material on POCSO Act and that is available on www.ncpcr.gov.in.

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