NEW DELHI: The Union Home Ministry, on Thursday, launched two initiatives to tackle crimes against women and children — a national database of sexual offenders and a website to report objectionable online content related to child pornography, child sexual abuse material and sexually explicit material such as rape and gang-rape.
With the launch of the Registry of Sex Offenders, India joined the list of countries like USA, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, and Trinidad & Tobago that maintain it. USA is the only country where the sex offender registry is available to the public.
Both the initiatives have come at the behest of the Union Women and Child Development Ministry.
In the registry, details such as photos and IDs will, however, be accessible only to law enforcement agencies and will help them in tracking and investigating cases of sexual offences.
The Cyber Crime Prevention against Women and Children portal aims to enable complainants to report cases without disclosing their identity.
“This will not only aid the victims/complainants but also help the civil society organisations and responsible citizens to anonymously report complaints pertaining to child pornography, child sexual abuse material or sexually explicit material such as rape and gang-rape,” a government statement said.
Complainants can also track objectionable content and URL to assist in the investigation and a victim or complainant can also track his or her report.
The National Crime Records Bureau has been tasked with identifying objectionable content online and taking up the matter with intermediaries for its removal.
The central database of “sexual offenders” in the country, too, will be maintained by the NCRB for regular monitoring and tracking by the state police.
“The database is accessible only to the law enforcement agencies for investigation and monitoring purpose. The database will include offenders convicted under charges of rape, gang rape, POCSO and eve teasing,” the Home Ministry said.
The database contains 4.4 lakh entries and state police have been requested to regularly update it from 2005 onwards.
The database includes name, address, photograph and fingerprint details for each entry but will not compromise privacy.