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Coronavirus lockdown | ‘Online child porn traffic rises by 95%’

Illustration: Deepak Harichandan  

Consumption of child pornography after the lockdown in the country has gone up by 95% with online data monitoring websites showing an increase in demand for searches like “child porn,” “sexy child” and “teen sex videos.”

Also read | Closure of schools due to COVID-19 may lead to online child sexual abuse, warns IJM

“Traffic from India increased by 95% between March 24 and 26, as compared to average traffic before the lockdown,” the India Child Protection Fund (ICPF) said in a statement citing data from Pornhub, the world’s largest pornography website. The ICPF was set up in January 2020 and aims to support NGOs with funding resources for curbing exploitation of children. The fund is managed by Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi’s son, Bhuwan Ribhu.

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The spike in consumption indicates “millions of paedophiles, child rapists and child pornography addicts have migrated online, making the Internet extremely unsafe for children. Without stringent action, this could result in a drastic rise in sexual crimes against children,” says Nivedita Ahuja, spokesperson for ICPF.

As children spend more time online during the lockdown, international agencies like Europol, the United Nations and ECPAT (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking) have reported that paedophiles and child pornography addicts have increased activity to target children online to ‘groom’ them — befriending them on social media, building an emotional connection and luring them to perform sexual activities through photos and videos.

Also read | Govt. helpline receives 92,000 calls on child abuse and violence in 11 days

Violent content

In a survey conducted in December on demand for child pornography in 100 cities, the ICPF found that on an average there were 5 million downloads per month. It also pointed out there was an increase in demand for violent content involving children.

Coronavirus lockdown | ‘Online child porn traffic rises by 95%’
 

It demands an urgent crackdown on child pornography through a pan-India tracker through the use of artificial intelligence which can monitor hosting, sharing, viewing and downloading of child sexual abuse material and provide the information to the government agencies.

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Printable version | Oct 30, 2020 1:27:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-lockdown-online-child-porn-traffic-rises-by-95/article31334484.ece

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