Digital Age and Child Pornography

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What if one day while you’re surfing the internet, you find an indecent image of your minor relative going viral? Or what if you being a minor, find a photo you sent to a specific person, not to be shared with anyone else but him/her, going viral on the internet?

With the development of new technologies, the new methods of crime are coming into picture and child pornography is one such crime.

A child is a person who is below the age of 18 years. Child pornography is publishing and transmitting obscene material of children in electronic form. In recent years, child pornography has amplified due to the easy right to use the internet. Child pornography is the most monstrous crime which occurs and has led to various other crimes such as sex tourism, sexual abuse of children, etc. 

Child pornography being a crime in India is punishable under The Information Technology Act, 2000 & Indian Penal Code, 1860. 

Children in the present-day era are exposed to the highest tech globalized world which influences them and takes those children to new heights of understanding, modernity, and mellowness. Since a child has a delicate and vulnerable mind, sometimes it is difficult for the child to contain from the negativities of modern information technology and social media. They get easily fascinated by the bliss of knowing things from an early age; to be socially active and befriend new people. They enter into the adult chat rooms and because of the growing age, they enjoy the delight of chatting with an adult or virtually connecting with them. 

Young children and their friends involve in sexting which means “the process of sending and receiving sexual images on a mobile phone.” They upload explicit and obscene photos, messages and videos in their peer group which is at the end of the day easily accessible to the perpetrators of child pornography because of the cyberspace. Young kids also upload obscene pictures of their friends so as to torment them. As a result, the victims of such abuse sometimes commit suicide.

With this increasing trend, The Government of India realized the need for introducing a new law and for making suitable amendments to the existing laws, and so, on February 2009, the Parliament of India passed the Information Technology Bill which made construction and transmission of child pornography illegal. The newly passed Information Technology Bill is set to make it not only the transmission of child pornography in any electronic form illegal but also the browsing of such content. Section 67B of the IT Act specifically proposes to punish taking part in sexually explicit online or electronic content that depicts children. It will also be an offense to “cultivate, entice or induce children to online relationship with other children for a sexual act.”

The demonstration of something offensive to modesty or graciousness or expression of unchaste or lustful ideas or being filthy or lewd is considered to be obscene in most countries. So, to control child pornography in India, we should take stringent actions to solve the problem. Parents should interact regularly with their children, school authorities should try to create awareness among the students and media should also play an active role in educating and sensitizing the society. This would give us time to think and plan some new ways to eradicate child pornography from India. Depiction of minors, both real and virtual, as well as adults appearing to be minors, in electronic child pornography, should be prevented by Indian law. Stringent measures must be taken to combat such heinous abuse.

by :-

Nandani Agarwal

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