The number of child sexual abuse cases reported from March 2020 onwards on various platforms is as under:
- As reported by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the total number of child pornography/rape and gang rape complaints lodged in the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal (NCRP) from 01.03.2020 to 18.09.2020 is 13244.
- As reported by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), information of 420 cases of child sexual abuse has been received by NCPCR from 1st March, 2020 till 31st August, 2020 via online portals, helplines and other media.
- As reported by Childline India Foundation (CIF), 3941 calls have been received by CIF regarding child sexual cases from 1st March, 2020 to 15th September,2020.
“Police” and “Public Order” are State subjects as per Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India. Action in cases of child sex abuse is taken by concerned Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) as per the extant provisions of law.
The Central Government has taken several measures to fast track investigations in cases of child sexual abuse. These steps include mechanism for online reporting of child sex abuse cases, accessibility of reported incidents to concerned Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), improving cyber forensic facilities, training of Law Enforcement Officers/Judges/ Public Prosecutors, spreading awareness etc.
The Government implements a scheme for setting up of 1023 Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs) for expeditious trial and disposal of cases related to rape and POCSO Act. As on 26.08.2020, there are 597 FTSCs functional out of which 321 are exclusive POCSO courts.
Section 43 of the POCSO Act provides that the Central Government and every State Government shall take all measures to give wide publicity to the provisions of the Act. In accordance with this, the Government has taken various steps from time to time to create awareness of the provisions of the POCSO Act through electronic and print media, consultations, workshops and training programmes with stakeholders concerned.
Various other steps taken include sending messages through telecom service providers, messages through Government’s twitter handle @CyberDost, conducting cyber awareness programmes in different cities, radio spots/jingles on FM Radio, publishing of handbook for Adolescents/Students, and introduction of a chapter on cyber security in CBSE syllabus etc.
National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCRs), who are mandated to monitor the implementation of the POCSO Act, have developed and circulated information, education and communication (IEC) material on POCSO Act and that is available on www.ncpcr.gov.in.
This information was given in a written reply by the Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani in Rajya Sabha today.