1st international conference on sexual exploitation of children to be held in Kolkata

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Kolkata, Dec 12 (IANS) The first international conference on “Sexual Exploitation of Children in Digital Era” will be held in the city on December 14-15 to spread awareness among people, officials said here on Tuesday.

The global meet comes close on the heels of reports that India accounted for around 2.4 million instances of online child sexual abuse last year.

Among those who will participate in it are officials from West Bengal Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (WBCPCR), International Justice Mission (IJM), and chairpersons of women commissions across the country, senior police officials from six countries, government representatives, prosecutors and judges from 15 countries like Germany, Uganda, Canada, Kenya, the US, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India.

Officials from social media giant Facebook and major consulting firms Deloitte, PriceWaterhouseCoopers are expected to be present.

Global trends indicate that criminals are using the power of modern technology to exploit children and these trends include trafficking, buying and selling of children for sex, live porn, etc., officials said.

According to Cecilia Wallin, Criminal Intelligence Officer with the INTERPOL, around 2.4 million instances of online child sexual abuse” were reported from India in 2017.

“Online child sexual abuse is widespread globally. During the conference, experts and officials from different countries will discuss the challenges they are facing and will recommend convergent strategies on combating the issue,” WBCPCR Chairperson Ananya Chakraborti said.

Global cooperation in terms of policing and laws is the need of the hour to counter the online child sexual abuse as the issue is, in nature, border-less, she said, adding that the current cyber laws in India are “mainly for protecting data” and are “not enough” to counter such instances.

IJM Kolkata’s Director of Operations Saji Philip said the US-based National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported that over 24.46 lakh children were abused in 2017 in India.

“Out of that, more than 80 per cent of children were girls under the age of 14. It shows that the instances of online sexual abuse are increasing,” he added.

–IANS

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