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The chief of national child rights panel today said smartphones have contributed to rise in offences against women and kids, and expressed concern over increasing cases of Internet crime against children.
"Our's is a nation with a lot of small children but unfortunately we are careless in managing our human wealth. Children are our future, but unfortunately we are not investing enough in our children by way of time, resources and safety," National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Chairperson Stuti Kacker said here.
She was speaking at a conference organised by Telangana CID on prevention of 'Online Child Sexual Abuse'.
Kacker emphasised on the importance of professionalism in the field of cyber crime investigation and leveraging technology to protect the interests of children.
She said due to an increase in the use of Internet by children, online child sexual abuse and cyber radicalisation instances are on the rise. "Cyber crime is happening against children and it has pervaded into our system and we have to be very careful."
"Cyber space is being used to get hold of children and change their minds," she said and referred to a case wherein Internet groups approached young girls and persuaded them to commit suicide.
She said smartphones have become a status symbol but device has a negative side too.
"The smartphone has improved our lives and made communication easy but in a way it has become our nemesis and creates problems for us.
"I think smartphones have contributed to rise in crime against women and children as one can do all the things that a computer can do including downloading porn films/clips," the NCPCR chief maintained.
She said due to extensive use of Internet-based home control systems, hackers/online predators are accessing electronic gadgets like webcams, computers and collecting data compromising privacy/safety of people, especially children.
She said NCPCR has set up an online complaint management system called 'POCSO e-box' for children to report any cases of sexual assault/abuse or harassment.
Stating that kids stalked by the (online) predators suffer a lot mentally and constantly live in fear, Kacker said "We need to protect our children and also their minds. If we don't protect them and they have access and see all this filth then we are not incubating good individuals.
On the occasion, Telangana Home Minister Nayani
Narshimha Reddy released a compendium prepared by CID which will serve as a ready reckoner to the law enforcement officers in all aspects of online child sexual abuse.
He said now a days children are extensively using electronic gadgets like smartphones and computers, and getting accessed by online abusers.
"Because of their immaturity, children do not know what is good and what is bad for them. Its the responsibility of parents, media, educators and NGOs to take steps for curbing/preventing online child sexual abuse," Reddy said.
CID Inspector General Soumya Mishra said modern methods of education are increasingly encouraging children to use Internet for their assignments. Because of their immaturity, kids have become easy target for sexual predators.
Cases registered under POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act have seen a rise, Mishra said.
In 2015, 671 cases were filed under the Act and the number rose to 819 last year, the police officer added.