Cyber crimes against children grew 260% in 2020, data shared with Parliament shows

Lok Sabha: NCRB Data shared with Parliament by Smriti Irani, shows sharp rise in cyber-bullying, stalking of children during Covid period.

The sharp rise in cyber crimes against children have happened  when school education moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic and children were taught via video-conferencing software and even messaging appsThe sharp rise in cyber crimes against children have happened when school education moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic and children were taught via video-conferencing software and even messaging apps

Sheena Sachdeva | December 3, 2021 | 06:01 PM IST

The total number of cases registered for cyber crimes against children grew a whopping 260 percent in 2020, data shared by the minister for women and child development, Smriti Irani, shows. She was responding to a question in Lok Sabha during the 2021 winter session of Parliament. This was also the period when school education moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic and children were taught via video-conferencing software and even messaging apps.

The Lok Sabha question were asked by DMK MP D Ravikumar who sough information on “steps taken ... to protect girl children from sexual abuse during online classes” and “details of cases filed regarding abuse of girl children during online classes”.

Irani’s response included data on cases of cyber crimes against children from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). The total number of cases in 2018 was just 232, according to data shared by the ministry. It rose to 306 in 2019 and jumped to 1,102 in 2020.

Cyber Crimes Against Children (All India)

Case Status

2018

2019

2020

Cases Registered (CR)

232

306

1102

Cases Chargesheeted (CCS)

122

223

439

Cases Convicted (CON)

7

4

1

Persons Arrested

211

349

660

Persons Chargesheeted (PCS)

177

309

630

Persons Convicted (PCV)

12

6

1


The number of cases of child pornography, stalking and bullying of children all rose in 2020, some very sharply.

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Cyber crimes: Maharashtra, UP, Karnataka

Among the larger states, three states saw the highest number of registered cases in 2020. These are:

  • Maharashtra: 207

  • Uttar Pradesh: 197

  • Karnataka: 144

In terms of cyber pornography or publishing of obscene sexual materials depicting children, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka witnessed highest numbers of cases registered in 2020.

The number of arrests — 660 — while far lower than the number of cases in 2020, was still about double the number in the previous year. In 2019, that number of arrests was 349 and six were convicted. The figures on arrests, chargesheets and convictions could relate to cases filed earlier as well.

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Rise in cyber pornography

There has been a rise in cyber pornography of children in 2020. In 2019 a total of 103 cases were registered; 2020 saw another 738 cases registered, an increase of over 600%. In 2020, Uttar Pradesh saw the highest number of cyber pornography of children registered cases (161), followed by Maharashtra (123) and Karnataka (122).

However, in 2018, a total of 44 cases were registered and 36 persons were arrested. Kerala witnessed the highest number of cases (18) of cyber pornography of children in the year, followed by Uttar Pradesh (8) and Odisha (7).

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Rise in cyber stalking

In terms of cyber stalking and bullying of children, in 2020, a total of 140 cases were registered against the 44 cases in the previous year. In 2020, 80 people were arrested for cyber bullying and stalking against 54 people in 2019.

Maharashtra witnessed the highest number of cases (69) registered under cyber stalking or bullying of children in 2020 followed by Uttar Pradesh (14).

Also Read| CBSE issues cyber safety manual for students of Classes 9-12.

The ministry informed Parliament that laws like Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015 and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 and the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 have provisions under which action can be taken against these offences.


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