Child porn is one of the dangerous side effects of growing usage of internet, and globally it is condemned, and legal provisions are made to tackle the issue. In India, policing against child porn is still in its early stage, and according to various recent reports, it is a growing menace that needs immediate attention. 

The first significant action against child porn in India was taken earlier this year when Crime Investigation Department of Telangana arrested a US citizen for circulating child porn on the internet. The Indian agency received a tip-off from Interpol and arrested the accused who was working as vice president at the Hyderabad office if an MNC law firm. 

Aarambh India is country’s first online portal for reporting online child sexual images and videos that allow anyone report any child porn related content. The reported content is assessed by Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) of the UK that takes further action to remove or block the content from its hosting website. 

Recently, this organisation received a report from an anonymous internet user about 200 videos available online that shows sexual abuse and torture of baby boys and girls of different ethnicities. The web page that contained this disturbing content was traced to Russia, and in less than a day’s time the reported videos were removed, a leading daily reported. 

Since its launch about eight months back, Aarambh has received more than 420 reports, and 46 of the reported cases have explicit content. Shocking, 70 percent of the content is of severe nature such as rape and in about 30 percent of the children are between 0 to 2 years old, reported the Times of India.

As per the data released by National Crime Records Bureau, in 2015, 96 reports of children being sexually exploited via online imagery were recorded in India which is a 140 percent rise from the data of previous year. 

In an effort to curb the menace, last month the central government asked the internet service providers in Chennai to block those websites that have been listed by IWF for explicit content on or before July 31 this year. IWF block list has around 3500 URLs, and this list is updated twice a day. 

The central government’s order came as per recommendations made by an inter-ministerial committee. This committee was set up after a Supreme Court directive. The committee observed that most of the websites hosting the explicit child porn content are based outside India, and at present, India lacks a mechanism to trace such hosting sites.

To access the list provided by the IWF, the internet service provider will have to pay a fee. The central government has assured the service providers to pay the fee on behalf; the TOI quoted the president of Internet Service Providers Association of India, Rajesh Chharia as saying. 

However, though this arrangement shows that the central government is determined to stop the circulation of child porn material in India but to find a permanent solution, the government must build a domestic mechanism to trace and remove such content.