CHENNAI: About nine lakh children are forced into prostitution due to their easy access to pornography, according to a latest report released by Protect the Children, a movement that works for children’s welfare.
“Though child sex trafficking has been acknowledged as a problem and research has been carried out to check how children end up being victims of pornography, no concrete solution has been offered so far,” says Emi, social activist and researcher.
After sifting through research papers, a report found a link between exposure to pornography and engagement in risky behaviour, such as getting addicted to pornography, but nothing goes beyond that to control the problem.
Emi says every 15 minutes a porn video is uploaded on the internet and this is easily accessible to children through their smartphones. In the report that was researched for eight years and released on Sunday, it was stated that 99.9% of children were abetted by pornography; 94% were blackmailed and raped multiple times; 77% were shown porn and taught the acts to enter prostitution and 84% of trafficking victims were videographed.
Giving out further details, the report showed that 89% of the children who were raped were not aware that they were videographed and most of them were abused by people known to them. Another fact was that the adult content was easily available as nine out of 10 boys and six out of 10 girls below the age of 18 years viewed porn.
“The lack of sex education in schools is another major reason for sexual abuse of children. Once a child is the given basic knowledge, they will be able to judge what is right or wrong. When they lack such education and can easily access pornography, they fall prey to paedophiles,” said R Vidya Sagar, retired child protection specialist, UNICEF.
He said that countries like China and South Korea have partially banned pornography. But in India, even children carry smart phones. “Parents, when handing over such gadgets to children, should ensure that adult sites are blocked on their phones,” he added.