Online Child Abuse: Let the Story Unfold


The National Crime Records Bureau Report says – In India, a child is abused every 15 minutes.

Online child trafficking in India is on the rise. Across India and abroad. Increased usage of internet and smartphones has enabled such prolific rise of crimes, including online child abuse. Children are the worst victims; each day they are being sold across numerous social media channels and classified advertising websites.

“Technology … is providing offenders with unprecedented access to victims, new capabilities, and increasing confidence to abuse children on a mass scale,” added Baroness Joanna Shields, previously an executive at Facebook and Britain’s internet safety minister.

Each year, 1.8 million children are trafficked into prostitution.

Yes, the numbers are indeed ghastly and so are the modes of child exploitation. Online and physically, children are abused daily. Despite the fact, what necessary steps Indian judiciary and states are taking to stop this heinous crime?

Going by the facts, till 2012, India didn’t have any proper legal framework to address child sexual abuse. Goa Children’s Act, 2003 was the first and only child abuse legislation that was in motion before 2012 Act was popped up.

In the year 2012, the Parliament of India passed the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences Act (POSCO) for the victims of child sexual abuse below 18 years of age. The Act also includes gender neutrality as a clause.

Apparently, though the POSCO Act seems to be quite strong and comprehensive, when it comes to implementation, things take a different turn. Nevertheless, we can’t lose hope, as we believe there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.

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Missing Stencil Project is doing some commendable work in the field of sex trafficking and bringing back the girls home, safely.

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How the Hotel Industry Can Counter Trafficking:


Brothels are characterized by their dark and shady appearance. It is much easier to conceal the illegal activities of the trafficking industry within the well-maintained walls of private hotels and restrooms. The hotel industry has always been infamous for housing illegal activities related to flesh trade.

However, the time has come to put a stop to these horrific crimes taking place within hotels, which are becoming the hotspot for sex trafficking and are rapidly replacing traditional brothels. In Maharashtra, the government has signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the association of hotels to help end these odious practices. The alumni group of Maharashtra State Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology will train staff to help them recognize possible trafficked victims. Being among the largest hotel chains in India, over 20 lakh hotels will be able to access this training facility.

Some of the measures include training hotel staffs to look out for women who appear noticeably scared or traumatized, and seem as if their actions are being controlled by another person. Caution must be raised in case guests can’t produce ID proofs and if their rooms display the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign for days at a stretch.

Staffers will be trained to identify 50 different warning signs associated with sex trade activities occurring in hotels. These include taking a note of excessive consumption of porn, a man and a minor spending too many days locked in a room, sudden requests to change bed linens and of course women and girls not being able to show authentic identification documents.

While these efforts are commendable, the journey to eradicate sex trafficking is a long and laborious one. And hotels play a key role in this.

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