Goa decides to act against rampant downloads of child sex abuse porn

Panaji, Sep 10 (IANS): With the growing threat of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) in Goa with 43,663 files of CSAM  being downloaded from 30 different URLs in 2021, the Goa Child Rights Commission has decided to decisively address this issue.

The Goa police, in the past, have taken action against those involved in downloading and transmission of such content.

In July, five persons were arrested by the crime branch for allegedly violating the law related to CSAM. They were arrested from different locations with the help of the cyber crime cell.

According to the police, based on proactive monitoring of cyber space, several instances of transmission, storage and viewing of CSAM were detected and accordingly joint teams of the cyber crime cell and the crime branch conducted raids and apprehended the five persons for violating the CSAM law.

“CSAM is a heinous form of content that involves the exploitation and sexual abuse of children. It is illegal, morally reprehensible, and causes immense harm to the victims. The distribution, possession, or creation of CSAM is a serious criminal offence with severe legal consequences, and its existence perpetuates the exploitation and trauma suffered by innocent children,” Superintendent of Police Nidhin Valsan said.

“All citizens are urged to avoid all kinds of transmission, viewership, and storage of such CSAM content to ensure zero exploitation of children. The parents, the employers, teaching community and the faith leaders are urged to help prevent creating, transmitting and dissemination of CSAM material as it leads to moral depravity and quite often leads to sexual abuse as well,” he said, after the arrest of the five persons.

To aggressively combat the growing threat of online sexual abuse of children in Goa, a state consultation was organized by the India Child Protection Fund (ICPF) in collaboration with the Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (GSCPCR) last week.

Peter F. Borges, chairperson of GSCPCR and O.P. Singh, former director general of police, Uttar Pradesh, were part of the consultation.

They discussed the multipronged strategies needed to tackle the growing threat of CSAM in Goa.

As per a report on the sudden rise in CSAM in India post Covid-19 released by the ICPF in April 2020, the demand for child pornography was an average of 5 million per month in 100 cities and only on the public web. Globally, reports of CSAM online are on the rise. As per the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), over the past 15 years, CSAM reports have increased by 15000%.

According to Borges, children’s vulnerability has increased in this digital era.

“We need a comprehensive approach, collective action by all stakeholders, awareness generation at all levels and strict implementation of the POCSO Act 2012 to address the issue of CSAM. The sexual exploitation and abuse of children online is not a new phenomenon. It has been there for at least the past two decades and has increased with the use of the internet and new technology as tools to sexually exploit and abuse children online. All stakeholders need to collectively address this issue.” Borges said.

“All of us should understand the severity of online child sexual abuse in Goa. This disturbing trend, which involves the grooming of children by the abuser to self-generate the content is ‘preventable’. It requires collective responsibility, including educating parents, care givers and children about technology use and sexual abuse within the home,” he said.

“Only when the education of parents, caretakers and children comes together with efforts by tech companies, the government, police, and NGOs, can we hope to stem this tide. The Goa Child Rights Commission will make a decisive plan to address this,” Borges said.

Emphasizing the importance of such collaboration in the country, CEO of India Child Protection Fund (ICPF) and former DGP, UP, O.P. Singh, said, "Efficiently utilising cyberspace requires a delicate balance of safeguarding its resources while fostering innovation. To achieve this, a time-bound prosecution framework should be in place, focus should be on capacity building of law enforcement agencies along with use of technology for prevention and prosecution of such crimes. Alongside there must be a concerted effort to raise awareness among the public by all stakeholders. Only by doing so we can ensure the safety of our children and create deterrence among the perpetrators.”



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Title: Goa decides to act against rampant downloads of child sex abuse porn

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