Starting September 19, India will be getting an online tool which will allow people to report incidents of child pornography. The hotline is the first of its kind in India aimed at safeguarding children from sexual abuse.
In India, an alarming number of sex crimes against children are reported every month. As many as 53 percent of children surveyed by Department of Women and Child Welfare in 2007 had reported sexual assault. With such outdated data and the likelihood that so many offenses continue to go unreported, there is no true understanding of how many children are victims of these sex crimes.
Aarambh India is a platform that works with multiple international NGOs based in the Mumbai area, and has over 30 years of on-the-ground experience with child protection. They help to provide safe recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration to children who have been sexually abused.
The reporting hotline will be hosted by the Aarambh India website, and will initially be available in Hindi and English, with the goal of eventually supporting 22 additional languages. Users will be able to report objectionable images and videos they find by completing a form on aarambhindia.org/report.
Users will also have the option of sending anonymous tips. When someone reports an offense, the UK-based Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) will assess the claim, then take action accordingly.
In recent years it has become more and more difficult for the government and non-government organizations to trace sexual offenses. Up until this point, the process of reporting child pornography in India has been unclear. The new initiative could significantly fix this problem, and ultimately keep more children safe.