National

NCRB to collate data on online child sexual abuse

New Delhi: In a first, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has started collating data on online child sexual abuse in the country. Till now no repository of such crimes was available at the national level.

The move comes after a parliamentary standing committee on home affairs pulled up officials for not reporting the cases. The panel, headed by senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram, said in its report that they were “anguished to note the severe under-reporting of crimes related to online child sex abuse in India.”

“Firstly, NCRB does not maintain any separate record of cyber crimes against children. Secondly, whatever data is collected by NCRB presently, however rudimentary it may be, provides an insight into the state of law enforcement in the country as it is unbelievable that in most of the states there is no incidence of any online child sex abuse,” the panel said.

A senior NCRB official said they have started collecting the data 2017 onwards on directions of the parliamentary panel.

“NCRB was collecting data on cases registered under Section 67B of IT Act (publishing or transmitting of material depicting children in sexually explicit act, etc. in electronic form, on annual basis). After the parliamentary panel’s observations, we have started segregating the data where children have been abused online,” said the NCRB official.

The panel recommended that starting 2017, NCRB should collate all the instances of online child sex abuse and other cyber crimes against children under a separate category so that performance of law enforcement agencies on this aspect can be observed.

The home ministry informed the panel that the Crime & Criminal Tracking Network & System (CCTNS), once operational, will generate details with regard to child victims reported under cyber crimes.

The panel said that “child sexual abuse and related crimes remain overwhelmingly under-reported in this country due to associated stigma and propensity of parents/guardians to not involve police in these matters.”

The home ministry said that it has approved a Central Sector Project, namely Cyber Crime Prevention Against Women and Children (CCPWC), at an estimated cost of ₹195.83 Crore for setting up online cyber crime reporting platform, a national level advanced cyber forensic laboratory and provide support to 36 states and Union Territories for police training institutions.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 8:53:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ncrb-to-collate-data-on-online-child-sexual-abuse/article23035536.ece

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