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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 27 September, 2022

  • 7 Min Read

Operation 'Megha Chakra' on Child Sexual Abuse

Operation 'Megha Chakra' on Child Sexual Abuse

  • The "Megh Chakra" operation is being carried out in response to inputs from Interpol's Singapore special unit based on the information obtained from the New Zealand authorities.
  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is waging a nationwide campaign against the dissemination and sharing of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM).

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What are the Megh Chakra Operation's Key Highlights?

  • 20 States and one Union Territory were the sites of searches at 59 different places.
  • Many Indian nationals are reported to have participated in the online distribution, download, and transmission of the CSAM using cloud-based storage.
  • The operation aims to compile data from various Indian law enforcement organizations, interact with pertinent international law enforcement organisations, and closely coordinate through Interpol channels on the matter.
  • Through the investigation, more than 50 groups and more than 5,000 perpetrators, including citizens of about 100 different countries, had been identified.
  • CBI carried out a similar effort in November 2021 under the code name "Operation Carbon."???????

What Problems Are Associated with Child Sexual Abuse?

  • Multiple-layered issue: Child sexual abuse affects children's physical safety, mental health, well-being, and behavioural elements in a variety of ways.
  • Amplification Resulting from digital technologies: The exploitation and abuse of children has increased as a result of mobile and digital technology. Online bullying, harassment, and child pornography are just a few of the newer types of child abuse that have arisen.
  • The Government of India passed the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences Act 2012 (POCSO Act), but it has not been effective in preventing sexual abuse of children. The following can serve as justifications for this:
  • Low rate of conviction: If one averages the last five years, the rate of convictions under the POCSO statute is just approximately 32%, and 90% of the cases are still ongoing.
  • Despite the POCSO Act's explicit requirement that the trial and conviction process be completed in one year, it took 16 months for the primary accused in the Kathua Rape case to be found guilty.
  • Unfriendly to Children: Difficulties with determining the child's age. Particularly rules that prioritize biological age rather than mental age.

Child pornography is a threat.

  • By definition, child pornography is "any visual depiction of sexually explicit action involving a child, including a photograph, video, digital, or computer-generated image indistinguishable from an actual kid," according to the POCSO Act of 2019.

Reasons:

  • Curiosity and daydreaming.
  • Financial gain through the sale of child pornography.
  • Pedophilic, hebephilic, or ephebophilic inclinations in older adults or older adolescents who have a psychiatric condition of sexual attraction to kids of various ages.
  • Sadistic inclinations that like seeing children suffer while being molested.

Impact of child pornography

  • Child pornography has psychological effects on children, including melancholy, rage, anxiety, and mental distress. Additionally, it affects their social life, employment, and biological clock.
  • Sexuality: If viewed frequently, it can lead to an obsession with and experience of sexual fulfilment. According to the evidence, viewing porn may make it more likely that one may have their first sexual experience sooner.
  • Self-objectification and body surveillance could support the idea that women are only a passive feminine receptacle while men have active sexuality.
  • Some specialists claim that pornography is similar to a sexual addiction. It causes the same kind of brain-damaging effects that habitual drug or alcohol use causes.
  • The growth of the internet and digital technologies increased accessibility, anonymity, and affordability of the videos, increasing audience and the market for child pornography.
  • Increasing sexual dysfunction among young males is a problem for reproductive health
  • Young children's development of sexual problems. Young children's susceptibility to sexual assault, cyberbullying, and exploitation.
  • The usage of teen porn by males strengthens their attitudes toward gender stereotypes, which causes them to objectify women. For e.g. Domestic and sexual violence against women has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • COVID-19: According to India Child Protection Fund (ICPF), a website that tracks online data, there has been a 95% surge in demand for child porn during the COVID-19 lockout compared to traffic before it.

It is challenging for agencies to identify and efficiently monitor child pornography operations.

Government Interventions & Policies

There is no law in India that forbids viewing porn in private.

  • The Department of Telecommunication was ordered by the Supreme Court to block a number of websites that include child pornography.
  • Child grooming, child exploitation, and child pornography are all prohibited by Section 67B of the Information Technology (IT) Amendment Act of 2008.
  • Penalties under the 2019 Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO).
  • Storing pornographic content for profit carries a five-year prison sentence, a fine, or both.
  • Failure to remove, delete or report child-related pornographic content
  • transmitting, exhibiting, or disseminating such content for any reason other than reporting

What does the 2012 Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act entail?

  • It was created with the goal of defending children's interests and well-being against crimes involving sexual assault, sexual harassment, and pornography.
  • In order to ensure the kid's healthy physical, emotional, intellectual, and social development, it defines a child as any individual under the age of eighteen. It also prioritises the child's welfare at every stage.
  • Assaults that are penetrative and non-penetrative, sexual harassment, and pornography are all defined as kinds of sexual abuse.
  • Under certain conditions, such as when the victim is mentally ill or when the abuse is carried out by someone in a position of trust or authority, such as a family member, police officer, teacher, or doctor, the law considers a sexual assault to be "aggravated."
  • Additionally, it portrays the police as guardians of children while conducting an investigation.
  • According to the Act, cases of child sexual abuse must be resolved within a year of the incident being reported.
  • In August 2019, it was changed to include harsher penalties for sexual offences against children, including the death penalty.

What constitutional provisions are relevant to this?

  • Every child is entitled under the Constitution to the following rights: the right to live in dignity; the right to personal liberty; the right to privacy; the right to equality; the right against discrimination; and the right against exploitation (Articles 23 & 24).
  • Every kid in the age range of 6 to 14 has the right to a free, required basic education (Article 21 A).
  • The State is required by the Directive Principles of State Policy, in particular Article 39(f), to make sure that children are provided with the opportunities and resources they need to develop in a healthy way, in conditions of freedom and dignity, and that childhood and adolescence are safeguarded against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.

Way Forward

  • Child pornography is a social threat that hurts defenceless youngsters, influences adolescent attitudes and behaviour, and has the potential to cause psychological illnesses in adults.
  • The importance of consent in relationships should be emphasised, and parents, schools, and other caregivers should support a culture of healthy parenting.
  • Teenagers should be urged to undertake a digital media literacy education.
  • Children need to be taught more about respecting the privacy and bodily autonomy of people of the other gender.
  • Create connections with other organisations and authorities.
  • to be aware of the idiosyncrasies of the law and how the POCSO court complies with the IT Act.

Check Also:- Daily News Analysis

Source: PIB


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