Most online content on child sexual abuse from India 

#GS2 #SocialIssues 

19.87 lakh reports of such material uploaded from country 

  • In a global compilation of reports of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) found online, India stands right on top of the list, with 11.7% of the total reports or at 19.87 lakh reports, followed by Pakistan, which contributes 6.8% of all reports (11.5 lakh reports). Bangladesh comes in fourth with 5.5 lakh reports and a share of 3.3%. 
  • The National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) urges people to report CSAM found online across the world annually, on their online platform CyberTipline. 
  • This year, the Centre received a total of 1.68 crore reports. The material thus reported by the members of the public and electronic service providers, principally comprises still pictures and videos depicting children in a clear sexual angle. 
  • Three of the top four countries were in South Asia, raising concerns among child rights activists about the online safety of children in the region. 
  • The NCMEC adds that the reports include geographic indicators related to the upload location of the child sexual abuse material, but country specific numbers may be impacted by proxies and anonymisers. 
  • It has long been suspected that India was very high (as CASM source) but the data wasn’t being published before now. 
  • India is the world’s number 1 but it is astonishing that three out of the four top countries — India, Pakistan and Bangladesh — are all in the same part of the world. 
  • We are not even talking of downloading or browsing. We need to focus on finding out whether this is re-uploading content already circulating on the net, or whether it is new content being uploaded. 
  • We need to look at the South Asian region with great interest and concern, at their interest in using children’s pictures for sexual stimulation. 

Lockdown impact 

  • There is also concern that the lockdowns across the world will lead to an exacerbation of the situation. 
  • Police and child welfare experts around the world are all expressing great anxieties about the impact of the mass lockdown.  
  • Paedophiles who work online are seeking to exploit the situation, looking for bored children. It might be some time before official figures show any increase in arrests or harms to children. 
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