India launches first internet hotline to curb child porn

According to India's National Crime Records Bureau, there was a 140 per cent increase in 2015 of reports of online child pornography. (Representative Image) (Image source: Wikimedia Commons) Photograph:( Others )

WION New Delhi, India Sep 20, 2016, 03.44 AM (IST)
India on Monday launched its first internet hotline to curb child pornography.

Siddharth Pillai, co-director of Indian anti-trafficking charity Prerana's Aarambh Initiative, which will run the hotline, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that it would be the first step to removing online images.

The hotline seeks to curb a surge in photographs and videos on the internet showing children being sexually exploited, the founders of the initiative told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"First report, then block, and then take down," Pillai told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The hotline can be accessed by the public, internet companies, victims and the police, and is available in either Hindi or English.

"Blocking can happen within a couple of hours of reporting, while taking the content down could take up to a week depending on the country where the servers are hosted," Pillai told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

According to experts, child sexual abuse imagery is a global problem with a majority of images found in North America and Europe where internet services are the most developed.

There is, however, no accurate data on the number of Indian children being exploited for pornographic material because many victims fear reporting it. 

According to India's National Crime Records Bureau, there were 96 reports of children in the country being sexually exploited in online imagery in 2015, which was a 140 per cent rise from 2014.

(Wion with inputs from Reuters)