According to the analysis based on the latest National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), Madhya Pradesh reports the third highest cases of cybercrime against children among all other states in the country. Read further on Dynamite.
Bhopal: According to the analysis based on the latest National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), Madhya Pradesh reports the third highest cases of cybercrime against children among all other states in the country.
Over 90 percent of these cases involve the publishing or transmitting of material depicting children in sexually explicit acts.
It further states that Madhya Pradesh reported 147 cases out of a total of 1360 cases reported across the country, where children have been victims of cybercrime in 2022. It is the third highest in the country after Karnataka and Rajasthan, reporting 239 and 161 cases of cybercrime against children, respectively.
With the motive to understand the trends of cybercrime against children in Madhya Pradesh, Child Rights and You – CRY, an Indian NGO, released an analysis in the wake of Safer Internet Day observed every year in February, which will take place on February 6 this year.
CRY works for the health, education and safety of underprivileged children.
“Within just the span of five years, the scenario of cybercrime against children in the state has drastically changed. It has registered a 4800 per cent increase in the number of cases. In 2018, only 3 cases of cybercrime against children were registered in MP (NCRB); and the number increased to 147 in 2022.
The fear that the COVID pandemic may have left children far more exposed to various online education and other entertainment platforms – which in effect tended to increase risks for children manifested at multiple levels – has been vindicated by the current NCRB data. Constant efforts made by the government as well as civil society organisations to create awareness on the issue is another reason behind the steep rise in the number of cases in 5 years,” said Soha Moitra, Regional Director, CRY.
The analysis also revealed that 93 per cent of registered crimes”>cyber crimes committed against children included the publishing or transmitting of material depicting children in sexually explicit acts.
“The usage of the internet among the masses has grown exponentially over the years. While this growth opens up massive avenues of opportunity for people, children becoming victims of heinous crimes like cyber pornography raises serious concerns about the online safety of children,” Moitra added.
A study released in 2023 named ‘POCSO and Beyond: Understanding Online Safety during COVID’ revealed that of the parents included in the study, 99 per cent admitted that they were unaware of the online content their children viewed.
Additionally, 91 per cent have no apprehensions about their children using electronic devices and spending time online. Only 6 per cent of parents have expressed their concern about this.
The study also revealed that 98 per cent of the parents refused to report if their children were subjected to online child sexual exploitation and abuse, whereas only 2 per cent said yes to lodging complaints with the police.
Furthermore, none of the parents reported being aware of any laws related to online child sexual exploitation and abuse.
Expressing concern over the trend, Moitra said, “It was concerning to see that parents are not considering reporting online child sexual exploitation and abuse with their children. The above findings indicate a large information gap and low trust in legal and law enforcement institutions among parents. There is a great need to spread awareness about existing cyber security systems.”
“In the last 6 months, CRY reached out to more than 50000 children across the nation through its cyber safety awareness programme ‘CyberSmart Heroes’.
Over 400 children from MP were also part of the programme. The experiences shared by children during the sessions revealed that online safety emerges as an important protection aspect for the well-being of children and youth,” Moitra said.
While CRY recognises that the internet is a vital medium for the participation and expression of children, it is the duty of parents, communities, the state, and society at large to ensure that children are both protected and empowered to protect themselves from online addiction and threats, she added. (ANI)