Child pornography is multifaceted international concern, and what institutes
child pornography is unexpectedly multipart. Even if we confine ourselves, to a
legal definition of child pornography, the concept is indefinable. The
definition of child pornography differs country wise, UNCRC defines child as a
person, under the age of 18 years.
, as per the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the
Rights of the child on the Sale of Children, prostitution and Child Pornography
(OHCHR) means Any representation, by whatever means, of a child engaged in real
or stimulated explicit sexual activities or any representation of the sexual
parts of a child for primarily sexual purposes
With the introduction of the Internet in 1980s which made vast magnitudes of
child pornography instantly obtainable in the privacy of viewer's home. Due to
Internet, there has been a comprehensive synopsis of the child pornography as
The expansion of the Internet and progressive digital technology
lies parallel to the explosion of the child pornography market. Child porn is
readily available through virtually every networking or social websites or apps.
The digital offenders can also connect on networks or forums, to share their
interests, desires, and familiarities abusing children, in addition to selling,
sharing and trading images.
The production of child pornography creates an
everlasting record of child's sexual abuse. When these obscene images are
uploaded on the Internet and disseminated online, the victimization of the
children continues in perpetuity. The internet has created an exciting, new
world of information and communication for anyone with access to online
services, which offers unparalleled opportunities for children, adults to learn
about immeasurable impact on the sexual exploitation of the children,
specifically through the children's obscene images.
Tracing the past of Child abuse
The delinquency of child abuse is not new-fangled. It has been fashionable,
since ancient civilization like Greek, Sumerian, and Mesopotamian. That period,
Child abuse' was a social condition, which became social problem through a
process of Social Constructionism
It means, social reactions are fundamental
to the process through which a social condition is redefined s social problem
The word Pederasty
derives from Greek etymology, meaning sexual relations
between men and children. The Oxford English dictionary defines it as
Homosexual relations between a man and a child, as a passive partner.
Ancient civilizations such as the Romans, the Greeks and the Samurai warriors
all embraced paedophilia. The purpose of the union was to allow young men to
form an apprentice-like bond with a warrior and learn from hi everything there
was to know about becoming a warrior.
Such relations were social acknowledged romantic relationship between an adult
male and child, in ancient Greek civilization. Such child/younger male were
called as Eromeus'. The influence of Pederasty on Greek culture was so
ubiquitous that it has been called the principal cultural model for free
relationships between citizens'. Later on, the Pederasty was both idealized in
ancient literature and philosophy.
In Rome, Paiderasteia
had been a formal social relationship between male and
child or young boy. The concept of Pederasty came to prompt the roles based on
domination and exploitation, young children's or boys were often given as
In India, the concept of child sexual abuse arrived with the Muslim invaders,
whereby the Kings were fond of exploitation or desire from young boys. The
Pederasty came into existence, in medieval period, with the advent of Muslim
rule, which grew more common with Sultans of Delhi Sultanate, establishing
sexual relationship with children's.
The renowned poet Al-biruni said, the
pederasty was rare in Hindu society, before the advent of Muslim rule
King Babur, in his autobiography Baburnama, designates his infatuation with a
teenage boy. The noble class were cosseted in Pederasty and Homosexuality,
considered as pure love
, was customary among those from Central Asia.
Dutch traveller Johan Stavorinus reported about Male Pederasty among Lodhi
dynasty & Mughals. With the advent of European colonialists, the creed of Child
abuse was comparatively truncated, as Britishers, took all pre-emptive steps to
restrain social stigma's & brutal rituals. But then, with the introduction of
Internet, the culprit human mind found out a platform in more profound way, to
lure for child porn over the mobiles, or websites.
Research over Child Sexual abuse & obscene display
Child pornography is illegal in most of the countries jurisdictions. The
legality of child pornography is explicitly addressed, by United Nations in
2008. The results were alarming, 94 countries had no laws addressing child
pornography and in many other countries, the existing laws are inadequate. In a
survey by International Centre for missing & exploited children (ICMEC), in
collaboration with the Interpol, found that in 138 countries, the child
pornography is not a crime.
Surprisingly, just 5 of the countries reviewed have
laws considered comprehensive enough to make a significant impact on the crime.
They are Australia, Belgium, France, South Africa, and United States.
There were another finding conducted by The Koons family Institute on
International law and policy, founded by artist Jeff Koons, found only 27
countries, out of 184 countries had laws sufficient to protect the children from
But in later reports of ICMEC, there has been increase in the number of
countries that have implemented, new law, which is encouraged. But there are
still countries that still do not consider child pornography a crime.
Further, a survey conducted by the parties to the Convention on the Rights of
the child, on the sale or prostitution of children, showed that almost half of
the parties, describes only general jurisprudential systems of compensation
available to all crimes relating to child.
Various agencies like Europol, the United Nations, and End child prostitution
and trafficking (ECPAT), have reported that paedophiles and child pornography
addicts have been increasing their activities to lure children who are now
spending more time online.
A report by International Labour Organisation, says that Cyber trafficking,
grooming, to lower the child's inhibitions with the objective of sexual abuse,
sex-tortion, sexting, are some of the trends of online crimes against children
and vulnerable communities.
The World Health Organisation in its survey, over Child sexual abuse, estimated
that 73 million boys and 150 million girls under the age of 18 years had
experienced various forms of the sexual violence. The highest prevalent rate of
such abuses was seen in Africa, United States, and Asian countries including
With regard to India, the alarming rise in the demand of child pornography
material has been increasing. Especially with the lock-down phase, there has
been a sharp increase, in child porn search. The India Child Protection
Fund claimed that online data monitoring websites are showing an increase in
demand for child porn searches.
The world's largest pornography websites in the world also reveals that traffic
from India has increased by 95 per cent, in the month of March – April, 2020, as
compared to their average traffic. Metro cities like New Delhi, Kolkata,
Chennai, Mumbai, and many tier II or capital cities, have been red flagged as
hotspots for Child porn.
The ECPAT reports confirm that, children are now more prone to online grooming
and sexual coercion. It is reported that, there has been an increase in SOS
calls asking for protection from abuse and violence, during the period of the
According to the figures from the National Centre for Sexual Abuse, child
pornography is one the fastest growing online business. India is among its
biggest consumers, contributors. In India, about 38% of website content is
linked to child sexual abuse
National Crime Records Bureau found that more than 25000 pieces of alleged Child
porn content have been uploaded to social media platforms in India, over the
last 3 months.
In study report by the Indian Council of Medical Research, shows the increasing
demand for pornographic content involving violence and torture. 18% individuals
exhibited explicit intent for videos where children were choking, bleeding,
tortured, or screaming'. The demand for this kind of content grew as much as 100
% during the lock-down phase.
A survey by United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF), on
demographic and health was conducted in India, from 2006 to 2014, which reported
that 10 per cent of children, boy or girl, have experienced sexual violence when
they were 10-14 years of their age.
A study was conducted in 2017, by the Ministry of Women and child development in
India, covering many states, reported that about 22% of the children, in India
were exposed to extreme forms of sexual abuse.
As per US based private NGO National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC),
stated that the content of child porn had received a boost in India, since last
The ICPF Spokesperson Nivedita Ahuja, said that there is spike in consumption
indicates that a number of pedophiles, child rapists and child pornography
addicts have migrated online. This had made the internet an unsafe place for
children and it could also result in a “drastic rise”
in sexual crimes targeting
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)- is a private
non-profit organization established by the US Congress in 1984 whose mission
includes reducing child sexual exploitation and preventing child victimization.
It says, over 25,000 cases of suspected child pornography material were uploaded
across social media platforms in India in the last five months, according to
reports shared by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)
in the US with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). No state wise division
was given but it was quoted that around 1,700 cases were passed on to the cyber
unit of the state by the NCRB.
The noble laureate, Kailash Satyarthi, remarked that, child pornographic content
is a big contributor to global trafficking of children, in the backdrop of
growing child porn in India.
Storm: Why Increase during lockdown?
A substantial segment of the spike can be accredited to the demand for child
pornography content. This is substantiated by online data monitoring websites
during the same time period, which shows that search for keywords like “child
porn”, “sexy child and teen sex videos, has also soared, and is predictable to
spike further in the coming weeks. The increase has been driven by Pornhub
making its premium content free during the lockdown.
The organisations like EUROPOL, THE UN AND ECPAT reports that Covid-19 lockdowns
have led to an intensification in the demand for CSAM attempts to target
children online to groom
them- befriending them on social media, building an
emotional connection and luring them to perform sexual activities.
Indian Child Protection Fund launched a study between November - December last
year; to understand the landscape of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) in India
and to deter its demand, the research focused on the demand for child
pornography was an average of 5 million per month in 100 cities.
Concluded that a vast majority of individuals were interested in generic CSAM
content involving “school girl's sex”
and the demand for content with specific
age groups, sexual actions and locations was growing. It is further stated that
of the individuals who were interested in specific themes in CSAM, a significant
number skewed towards violent content. The demand for this kind of content grew
as much as 200% during the project duration. This indicates that Indian men are
not satisfied with generic child pornography and demand violent and exploitative
Understanding the Child Pornography in law
There are several crucial International Conventions that makes Child Pornography
an offence and also makes laws that are legally binding in nature.
international legal instruments that address child pornography:
The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on
the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornographyIt is the first ever inclusive and legally binding document against sexual
exploitation of children and their rights.
Article 34 of the Convention provides the formulation of national, bilateral and
multilateral measures to prevent;
- Inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual
- The exploitative use of children in prostitution or other unlawful
- The exploitative use of children in pornographic performances and
Article 39 of the Convention requires the state to provide “recovery” and
“reintegration” to child victims of sexual exploitation.
It also indulges parties to pass laws within their own territories against these
practices "punishable by appropriate penalties that take into account their
The UN Conventions on the Rights of Child, has been ratified by an overwhelming
majority of the nations of the world, identifies child pornography as a
violation against children and requires that nations who are parties to the
convention take measures to prevent the exploitative use of children in
India has acceded to the United Nations Convention on
the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1992, reaffirming its earlier acceptance of
the 1959 UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child and is fully committed to the
implementation of all provisions of the UNCRC and therefore India has
ratified this “Optional protocol” to the convention in 2005.
The Convention On Cybercrime, 2001 also known as The Budapest convention
It was drawn up by the Council of Europe in 2001, This Convention is the only
substantive multilateral agreement with a stated objective of addressing
cybercrime with convergent, harmonized legislation and therefore, it is widely
recognized as a decisive document on international best practice and enjoys
compliance even from non-signatory states. The Budapest Convention is also
supplemented by an Additional Protocol to the Convention which further extended
the scope of the Convention to also include offences of racist or xenophobic
propaganda for those states that had ratified the protocol.
After entering into force India have declined to adopt the Convention contending
that they did not participate in its drafting and have been hesitant to ratify
it. Since 2018, India has been reconsidering its stand on the Convention after a
surge in cybercrime, though concerns about sharing data with foreign agencies
remain the concern. Moreover, despite its hesitations to sign the
Convention, India has brought its legal framework largely in line with the
provisions of the Convention: when India amended its Information Technology
Act (IT Act) in 2008, this was one of the big outcomes
The Council of Europe's Convention on the Protection of Children
against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, 2007It is a multilateral Council of Europe treaty whereby states agree to
criminalise certain forms of sexual abuse against children and it is the first
instrument to establish the various forms of sexual abuse of children as
criminal offences, including such abuse committed in the home or family, with
the use of force, coercion or threats. The Convention also criminalises the
solicitation of children for sexual purposes ("grooming") and "sex
tourism". India is not a member though it has been ratified by 47 countries as
on May 11, 2020. This convention criminalises the sexual activity with children
below the legal age of consent, regardless of the context in which such
behaviour occurs; it also mandates the criminalisation of child prostitution and
pornography in the States ratified it.
In addition to these instrumental legal conventions, there are countries, who
have adopted various Directives or Guidelines, to combat the sexual abuse and
sexual exploitation of children and child pornography. The directive establishes
more explicit guidelines for criminal legislation regarding sexual abuse and
exploitation of children.
Indian Legal system's take on Child Pornography as an offence
In contrast to other countries, India is signatory to many international
instruments and declarations about the rights of children to protection,
security, and dignity. India is strengthening its national policy and measures
to protect children from these dangerous forms of violence and exploitation.
India is also a signatory to the International Conventions on Civil and
Political Rights, and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights apply to the human
rights of children as much as adults.
The Indian Constitution provides, Article 21 for the right to life and liberty
and Article 24 does not allow children below fourteen years to work in a mine,
factory or engage in hazardous employment. As a Directive principle, Article
39(f) makes it obligatory for the State to direct its policy towards securing
the health and strength of children and to give them opportunities and
facilities to develop healthily and Article 45 provides that the State shall
endeavour to provide early childhood care and education to children below the
age of six years.
There also exist special laws for crimes against children,
such as the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1986, the Child Marriage Restraint
Act, the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 and The Juvenile
Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, the POCSO Act, 2012, the
Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Information Technology Act, 2000.
Information Technology Act, 2000: Strong Appendage or Inadequate?
The Information Technology Act, 2000 has adequate provisions dealing with
Obscenity & Child sexual crimes, with stringent punishments.
The IT Act introduced some protection for the publication and transmission of
obscene materials, initially, in 2000. But with the pace of time, requirement
and development in law, Information Technology Act, 2000 got amended by virtue
of Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 and several new other offences
are included along with child pornography' in electronic medium (specifically)
and upgraded/modified version of publication of obscene material in cyberspace.
Section 66 E Violation of privacy- publishing, capturing or
transmitting the image of a private area of a person without consent is
punishable with imprisonment which may extend to three years or with fine
not exceeding two lakh rupees, or with both. Capturing is to videotape, photograph,
film or record by any means and private areas is defined as the naked or
undergarment clad genitals, pubic area, buttocks or female breast.
Section 67 Publishing or transmitting obscene material in
electronic form- Publishing or transmitting any material in the electronic
form, which is lascivious or appeals to the prurient interest or has the
effect to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely to have access to the
material is punishable on first conviction with imprisonment of either
description for a term which may extend to three years and with fine which
may extend to five lakh rupees and in
the event of a second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either
description for a term which may extend to five years and also with fine which
may extend to ten lakh rupees.
Section 67 A Publishing or transmitting of material containing
sexually explicit act, in electronic form- publishing or transmitting
material containing sexually explicit act in the electronic shall be
punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a
term which may extend to five years and with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees and in the event of
second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a
term which may extend to seven years and also with fine which may extend to ten
Section 67 BPublishing or transmitting of material depicting
children in sexually explicit act in electronic form- Publishing or
transmitting any material which depicts children engaged in sexually
explicit act in any electronic form or conduct or creates text or digital
images, collects, seeks, browses, downloads, advertises, promotes, exchanges
or distributes material depicting children in obscene or indecent or
sexually explicit manner or cultivates, entices or induces children to
online relationship with one or more children for and on sexually explicit
act or in a manner that may offend a reasonable adult or facilitates abusing
children online or records in any electronic form own abuse or that of
others pertaining to sexually explicit act with children, shall be punished
on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which
may extend to five years and with a fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees and in the event of second or subsequent conviction
with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven
years and also with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.
Indian Penal Code, 1860; - Obsoleted v. ingenious
Prior to the commencement of Information Technology Act, 2000, the provisions of
IPC and the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, were used to
deal with the issues of pornography and obscenity, that too even when the same
was being done or committed in electronic medium.
Relevant provisions in the
Indian Penal Code, and Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, were
being considered for the visual representations but other electronic materials
like audio materials and computer-generated photographs were not specifically
included. Further these Acts did not deal with the issue of child sexual abuse
and more importantly with child pornography adequately.
Chapter XIV was the only law made for the prosecution of cases in the nature of
publication of obscene or pornographic material. The kind of distinction which
is made in other legal systems of the world pertaining to obscenity such as:
child pornography', extreme-pornography', importation of obscene material,
circulation of obscene content
, sexual or indecent communication
in Indian Penal Code.
- Sale of obscene books, etc:
the sale, distribution ,import, export,
advertisement, circulation or the exhibition of any obscene material is
punishable with imprisonment and fine under section 292 but it is not
applicable when it is done for public good or when such material is used or
kept bona fide for religious purposes.
- Sale, etc., of obscene objects to young person:
the sale ,
distribution, exhibition or circulation of any obscene object to any person
under the age of twenty years is punishable on first conviction with
imprisonment of three years, and with up to two thousand rupees, and, in the
event of a second or subsequent conviction, with imprisonment up to seven
years, and also with fine up to five thousand rupees under Section 293.
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offenders Act, 2012-Appropriate enough?
The POCSO Act, 2012 was specifically enacted to prevent children from sexual
offences. The act protects children from sexual assault, sexual harassment, and
pornography. The act aims to protect the interests and well-being of the
children. For the purpose of the act, any person who has not attained the age of
18 years is a child. The Act is gender-neutral.
The provisions relating to Cyber Pornography under the POCSO Act are
- Section 13 - Whosoever uses a child in any form of media for the sexual
gratification shall be guilty of the offence of child pornography.
- Section 14 - The punishment for using a child for pornographic purposes
is mentioned with minimum of 5 years imprisonment and maximum to Life
Imprisonment for use of a child for the pornographic purpose resulting in
aggravated penetrative sexual assault and Death is mentioned in the 2018
- Section 15 - If a person stores pornography that involves a child, in
any form then he shall be imprisoned to 3 years or fine or both.
In recent development, the government of India, came up with new definition of
child pornography in the POSCO Act, which says any visual depiction of
sexually explicit conduct having involvement of child which includes photos,
videos, digital or computer generated image, indistinguishable from an actual
child and an image created, adapted, or modified but appear to depict a child'.
Role of Judiciary to tackle Child Pornography as menace: - Interpretations
- The landmark case New york v. Ferber, is a precedential decision
given by the United States Supreme court, which ruled that its illegal for
an individual to promote any performance which includes sexual conduct by a child
less than sixteen years of age.
- R. vs. Hicklin,(1868) - The Hicklin's test identifies the danger of
prurient literature that it would suggest to the minds of the young of either
sex, and even persons of more advanced years, thoughts of a most impure and
- In India, Supreme court had played a decisive role, while dealing with
cases relating to child pornography. In Ranjit Udeshi vs. State of Maharashtra,
The Supreme Court of India in wherein it was adjudged that Section 292 of IPC is
protected 2 by Article 19 (2) of the Indian Constitution on the grounds of
public “decency” and “morality”.
- Sharat Babu Digumarti vs. Government of NCT,(2016)
The Supreme Court observed that it is the IT Act which shall override the IPC
and once a person is acquitted of charges under the IT Act, cannot be prosecuted
under the IPC for the same act. The central question in this case was whether a
person who has been discharged under Section 67 of the IT Act be proceed with
under Section 292 of IPC?
- K. Abbas v. The Union of India & another,(1971)
The court gave a distinction between Sex and obscenity and has
observed that, it would be wrong to perceive nudity & sex as essentially
obscene, indecent or immoral. Sex & obscenity are not always
- Avinash Bajaj v. State (N.C.T.) of Delhi,(2005)
An obscene video titled “DSP Girls having fun” was uploaded by a user (Ravi Raj,
a student of IIT Kharagpur) on the website bazee.com. The MMS was posted on the
website around 8:30 pm of 27 November 2004, which was deactivated around 10 am
on 29 November 2004. An F.I.R was also lodged against the bazee.com for putting
on sale the obscene material. The CEO of bazee.com, Avinash Bajaj was arrested
by the police under Section 67 of the IT Act.
- Sabu Mathew George vs. Union of India,(2008)
A writ petition was filed to ban advertisements relating to pre-natal sex
determination from search engines in India. Several orders have been passed, and
the state has now created a nodal agency that would provide search engines with
details of websites to block.
The doctrine of auto-block' is an important
consideration in this case -in one of the orders the Court listed roughly 40
search terms and stated that respondents should ensure that any attempt at
looking up these terms would be auto-blocked', which raises concerns about
intermediary liability and free speech.
- Kamlesh Vaswani vs. Union of India, (2013) - A PIL petition was filed in
2013 seeking a ban on pornography in India. The petition also prayed for a
direction to the Union Government to “treat watching of porn videos and sharing
as non-bailable and cognizable offence.” During the course of the proceedings,
the Department of Telecommunications ordered ISPs to block over 800 websites
allegedly hosting pornographic content.
This was despite the freedom of
expression and privacy related concerns rose before the Supreme Court. The
Government argued that the list of websites had been submitted to the DoT by the
petitioners, who blocked the websites without any verification. The ban was
revoked after much criticism.
The case, currently pending before the Supreme
Court, also presented implications for the intermediary liability regime in
India. Internet Service Providers may claim safe harbour from liability for
content they host, as long as they satisfy certain due diligence requirements
under Sec. 79 of the IT Act, read with the Information Technology
(Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011.
After the Supreme Court read down these provisions in Shreya Singhal v. Union of
, the primary obligation is to comply with Court orders seeking takedown of
content. The petition before the Supreme Court seeks to impose an additional
obligation on ISPs to identify and block all pornographic content, or risk being
Apart from case laws, Supreme Court of India, at multiple instances, has asked
centre government to frame Standard operating procedure' to handle complaints,
involving child pornography, and obscene contents online.
A bench of Justice Madan Lokur and Justice UU Lalit also directed government to
give a copy of the “Standard Operating Procedure
” to internet service providers,
Google, Yahoo, WhatsApp, Facebook and Microsoft- who may make their suggestions
to the Ministry of Home Affairs by 9th November, 2018.
The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to implement the proposal of a
high-powered committee, which was constituted to devise a plan to check
circulation of child pornography and sexual violence videos on the Internet, to
set up a cell within the CBI or the Ministry of Home Affairs to deal with such
The Apex court said that parameters regarding pornography has to be decided, and
it has already held in previous cases that Freedom of speech and expression
envisaged under Article 19 (1) (A) of the Constitution, is not Absolute' and is
subject to reasonable restrictions.
The court observed that, Pornography is very difficult topic
. Some people will find the picture of Monalisa as obscene
while some people will find it as an art. But one has to draw a line what can be
viewed in public and what can be viewed in private.
Role of Centre & States Government: - Obligated or Irresolute
Public Order is a State subject under the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution
of India. The responsibility to maintain law and order, protection of life and
property of the citizens including children, rests primarily with the respective
State Governments and UT Administration.
The State/UT Governments are competent
to deal with such offences including cyber-crime, offences under the extant
provisions of law and time and again various directions have been given to the
government by the Supreme Court considering various petitions demanding ban on
the pornography sites.
Government has taken a number of steps to be implemented by Internet Service
Providers (ISPs) to protect children from sexual abuse online:
Supposition's & Recommendations
- Government blocks the websites containing extreme Child sexual Abuse
Material (CSAM) based on INTERPOL's “Worst-of-list” shared periodically by
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which is the National Nodal Agency for
Interpol. The list is shared with Department of Telecommunications (DoT),
who then directed major ISPs to block such websites
- Government ordered major ISPs in India to adopt and disable/remove the
online CSAM dynamically based on Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), UK list.
- Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) is
implementing a major program on Information Security Education and Awareness (ISEA).
A dedicated website for information security awareness has also been set up.
- The government has blocked the websites carrying child pornographic
content and also asked the CBSE to consider installation of jammers in schools
to block access to such sites.
- The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MEITY), in its latest draft sent to
the law ministry for vetting, had proposed that content related to terrorism and
child pornography should be weeded out by built-in automated technology tools.
- The government has notified the Protection of Children from Sexual
Offences Rules 2020, enabling implementation of recent amendments to the Act
that made punishment provisions more stringent and for the first-time
defined Child Pornography and provided for crackdown for possession of
pornographic material involving children. These POCSO rules became effective from March 9,
2020. The rules specify that state governments must formulate a child protection
policy based on the principle of “Zero Tolerance to violence against
children”, which shall be adopted by all institutions, organizations or any
other agency working with children.
- Agencies across the world are sharing information to combat child
pornography. New technologies and methods are being adopted.
- Coordination between police and ordinary people to identify the hotspots
of child pornography.
- The Court asked the Centre to strictly implement the ban on pornographic
websites, after the report that a girl was gang-raped in a school by her
fellow students after they watched porn clips.
- The legal procedural barriers to protect the interests of children on
the Internet are vexing, due to definitional difficulties, different
culture, social values & jurisdictional issues.
- The lack of stringent framework of policies relating to privacy, content
regulation and pornography is major obstacle to effectuate a workable
international strategy to protect the interests of children on the Internet.
- Over the years, there has been research or surveys, over the child porn
or sexual abuse, but the progress is slow. Various International legislation
enacted, which has helped to raise awareness and attach new urgency to the
issue but many countries took no action, in order to secure the safer future
for children's. The children's life is more important than relatively minor
concerns about civil liberties or entrapment.
- The Country's Police should play strengthened crackdown on such child
related sexual abuses, but at the same time, it is also indispensable to
obtain people's understanding and cooperation and take preemptive measures
to prevent the occurrence and expansion of the damage of child pornography
and to enhance the system to protect and support child victims.
- Parents should talk to their children about online pornography and must
talk to them about child pornography. An illegal image is only a Google
search away. Talk to your children about what to do if they come across this
imagery. Talk about the images your child might have seen.
- Raising awareness of the unacceptability of child sexual abuse, and
promoting the notion that stopping child sexual abuse is everyone's
- A powerful public education message must be transmitted to the general
public, encouraging society to recognize that child sexual abuse is both
everyone's problem and responsibility. The goal of such public education
efforts is to eliminate any tolerance for sexual abuse or confusion over
what society condones as appropriate interactions between adults and
- Children who have been sexually abused may face severe and long-term
psychological consequences. Mental health services, especially if timely,
can help ease some of these consequences. They also may help stop the
intergenerational transmission of child sexual abuse. Mental health services
to those engaging in abusive behavior can help them address stressors that
often lead to sexual abuse, helping end such abuse.
- Through publicly soliciting slogans and symbol marks for the elimination
of child pornography as a part of public relations and awareness-raising
activities, efforts shall be made to promote people's movement in an
- At the same time, measures shall be taken to improve the performance of
filtering services and software based on such needs. The use of filtering
services and software shall also be disseminated.
- Mohit Parihar, Advocate & Cyber Law Expert, Rajasthan High Court,
- Yamini Atreya, Research Scholar, Department of Law, University of