Policies and legislations that regulate child online abuse and exploitation in India

2/6/2017 6:55:03 PM

Policies and legislations that regulate child online abuse and exploitation in India

India’s policy and legal framework for cybersecurity is evolving and, despite its limitations, provides a base for building a comprehensive strategy for child online protection. The following laws exist to address cybercrimes: 

  • The Information Technology Act, 2000, which addresses aspects related to cyberspace, and the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 are the main pieces of legislation concerned with online activities and cover any communication device used to transmit any text, video, audio or image. The provisions of the National Cyber Security Policy, 2013 enable the development of a dynamic legal framework.
  • The National Policy for Children (NPC), 2013 does not refer directly to online risks. All policies related to education, ICT or cybersecurity are expected to incorporate the principles of the NPC and provide children with equal opportunities for learning and empowerment, while protecting them from harm.
  • The National Policy of ICT in Schools, 2012 is more explicit about regulating ICT to protect children from potential risks. It recognizes online risks and has provisions for regulating and monitoring Internet access. The promotion of ICT systems in schools and adult education is included in the National Education Policy.
  • The National Cyber Security Policy, 2013 addresses the prevention, investigation and prosecution of cybercrimes, including those against children. It calls for strengthening capacities of law enforcement agencies to investigate cybercrimes and gather data to enable prosecution. 
  • The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 prohibits indecent representations of women and criminalizes the performance of obscene acts and songs but does not punish the audience or those who make the person perform such acts.
  • The provisions of the Information Technology Act have been strengthened by the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 which deals with online offences against children, including child pornography and grooming. As the Information Technology Act does not have specific provisions for criminal intimidation, hate speech and defamatory content, the provisions of the Indian Penal Code apply in cases of online offences.

For more info Download UNICEF India Child Online Protection in India Report (September 2016)

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