The year witnessed a sharp rise of more than 400 per cent in cyber crime cases against kids
Nagpur: Maharashtra ranked third in the cyber crimes against children in the year 2020, according to the data released by National Crimes Record Bureau (NCRB). Uttar Pradesh topped the chart with 170 cases followed by Karnataka 144, Maharashtra 137, Kerala 107 and Odisha 71 cases, the NCRB data showed.
Cyber crimes committed against children witnessed a sharp rise of more than 400 per cent in 2020 from those committed in 2019. Most such offences related to publishing or transmitting materials showing children in sexually explicit acts, the NCRB report said.
The NCRB data further showed that a total of 842 instances of cyber crime targeting kids were reported in 2020. Of these, 738 or nearly 87 per cent depicted minors engaged in sexual acts. In comparison, a total of 164 cyber crimes against children were reported in 2019, 413 per cent lower than those in 2020. The corresponding figures for 2017 and 2018 stood at 79 and 117, respectively.
According to Puja Marwaha, CEO, CRY (Child Rights and You), while spending more time on Internet for accessing education and other communication purposes, children have also become more vulnerable to multiple risks, particularly in the contexts of online sexual abuse, grooming or sexual solicitation, sexting, exposure to pornography, production and circulation of child sexual abuse material, cyber-bullying, online harassment and cyber victimisation, and many other privacy-related risks.
“While there is little evidence to ascertain the scale of the impact of the epidemic containment measures on online abuse and exploitation of children, closure of schools and children’s increased exposure to the online space may have had serious implications on the increased online risks experienced by them,” she added.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, measures taken to contain the spread of the pandemic have resulted in closure of schools and movement to virtual learning environments. Children also spent more time online for entertainment, social and educational purposes, whilst not necessarily being aware of any associated risks.