India’s first hotline to report child pornography goes live next week
Aarambh Initiative, a network of organisations and individuals working on child protection in the country, has collaborated with UK-based Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), which is an industry watchdog and is the most successful hotline in the world at removing child pornography.
The hotline in India will be hosted on aarambhindia.org and will enable users to report child sexual abuse images and videos in a safe and anonymous environment. While the hotline will initially be in English and Hindi, in the future it will also be available in as many as 22 regional languages.
The purpose of the hotline is three fold -- to block and ultimately remove offensive content, to trace the perpetrator and report him to the law enforcement agencies of his country, and to reach out to the child victim and rehabilitate him/her as and when required.
Once an individual comes across an image or a video on the internet, which shows sexual abuse of children, he or she can report the url (web address) to the hotline. A complaint made on the hotline remains confidential and is accessed by an expert team of IWF based in the UK. This team picks the offensive URL and adds it to its blocking list thus disrupting any further access to the content until it has been removed.
Once the content is removed, it is assigned a unique identification number in order to ensure that it is not uploaded in the future. This expert team also decides the criminality and severity of the content and determines the location from where it was uploaded and where it was being hosted. Thereafter, it contacts the host as well the law enforcement agency of the country from where it was uploaded.