Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Terming online child sexual abuse an organized crime, experts dealing with the menace on Friday said contribution of the whole society is needed to put an end to it.
The India Child Protection Fund (ICPF) in collaboration with the Department of Women and Child Development (WCD), Madhya Pradesh, had organised a `consultation program' on the issue here.
Cases Of Online Sexual Abuse Of Children Have Increased Rapidly
"It is high time we made the issue of online child sexual abuse our priority. With the advent of Internet in villages, cases of online sexual abuse of children have also increased rapidly," former CBI director and ex-Director General of Police of Madhya Pradesh Rishi Kumar Shukla said.
"It is commendable that ICPF is working on this extremely challenging issue and taking it to the states. But now we need the whole society's contribution to fight this battle," Shukla said.
Emphasizing the importance of such collaboration across the country, CEO of ICPF and former DGP of Uttar Pradesh O P Singh noted that online child sexual abuse is growing exponentially.
"It is an organised crime and should be seen on the same lines as terrorism," he added.
Children Exploited By Predators Sitting In Different Locations
"Our children are exploited by predators sitting in different locations including international areas and there is huge involvement of monetary transactions. Therefore it is important to have quality and time-bound investigation and prosecution," Singh said..
Multi-pronged strategies needed to tackle the growing threat of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) in Madhya Pradesh was discussed at the conference.
One of the major challenges is decoding CSAM cases from the source data received in CD format, said Bhopal Police Commissioner Offices' deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Vineet Kapoor.
E-CD Has 600-800 Cases Of CSAM
"Normally, e-CD has 600-800 cases of CSAM, (and) as we don't have any technical mechanism to extract data from the CD, it has to be done in a manual way which leads to delay in investigation and affects the mental health of the person working on it.
"Therefore, there is a pressing need to have specialised software to speed up identification and timely investigation of cases," he added.
As per a report released by the ICPF on the sudden rise in CSAM in India post-COVID-19 in April 2020, the demand for child pornography was an average of 5 million searches per month in 100 cities and only on the public web.
Vishal Nadkarni, joint director, Women and Child Development department said it will support ICPF in all the future workshops and endeavours in the state so that awareness about CSAM can be generated at the grassroots level.