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NHRC issues notice to Centre, states over ‘rise’ in circulation of child sexual abuse material on social media

CSAMs are from foreign countries and the Indian investigation agencies have not come across any Indian-made content so far

Our Legal Correspondent New Delhi Published 17.05.23, 04:26 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File photo

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday took suo motu cognisance of a media report that said the circulation of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) had increased by250 to 300 per cent on social media.

The CSAMs are from foreign countries and the Indian investigation agencies have not come across any Indian-made content so far.

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The commission has observed that the contents of the media report, if true, amounted to a violation of human rights relating to the life, liberty and dignity of citizens, and the protection of young children from the danger of sexual abuse on social media.

The NHRC has issued notices to the commissioner of police, Delhi, the directors-generals of police of all states and Union Territories, the director, National Crime Records Bureau, and the secretary in the Union ministry of electronics and information technology, calling for a detailed report within six weeks on the steps taken to prevent such menace on social media.

According to the media report, published on May 15, 2023, 450,207 cases of CSAM have been reported this year so far. Of these, Delhi police have taken action in 3,039 cases. There were 204,056 cases reported in 2022, 163,633 in 2021, and 17,390 in 2020.

The NHRC said it was concerned with the ill-effects of online CSAM on human rights. It may cost irreparable psychological damage to children, impacting their growth and development, the commission said.

It said it had been organising dialogues from time to time to come out with ways and means to check this menace. The commission has also issued a “Human Rights Advisory for the Protection of the Rights of Children in the Context of Covid-19”.

Portal for lost mobiles

New Delhi: Smartphone users will now be able to block and track their lost or stolen phones across India via the Sanchar Saathi portal launched by the department of telecom on Tuesday.

“First leg of Sanchar Saathi portal is CEIR (Central Equipment Identity Register). If you lose your mobile phone, then you can visit this portal. There will be some identity verification, requirement of undertaking and immediately after this the portal will interact with law-enforcement agencies and telecom service providers and block your lost mobile phone,” telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said.

The Sanchar Saathi facilities have been developed by C-DoT.

PTI

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