BENGALURU: “Sex traffickers are using social media tools such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram to identify and trap young girls. The girls are then blackmailed and pushed into flesh trade,” said experts at a symposium on “Technology and Trafficking” held at International Institute of Information Technology, Bengaluru. Pronab Mohanty, deputy director general, Unique Identification Authority of India said that there has been an increase in cases of criminals luring trafficking victims online. Stating that such formats were relatively new in organised crime, he suggested amendments to Information Technology Act to identify the issue and punish the perpetrators.
According to Adrian Philips, legal head at Justice and Care, an anti-human trafficking NGO, internet penetration in rural India has had some repercussions. “Our case work of over 10 years shows that increasingly these traffickers are exploiting social media and technology to trap young girls and expand their illegal businesses,” he said. “Innovations and necessary tools required to fight such activities should be made more effective.”
Samson Inocencio, national director, International Justice Mission, Philippines speaking on ‘Technology to investigate live stream of child abuse’ said online exploitation network was transnational.“The abuse begins on platforms such as Facebook,” he said, adding that some clients are often flon to the country after getting in touch the victim online,” he added. Experts from cyber crime, law, technology and non-government organizations spoke on various issues and discussed ways to combat the problem.