Author: Adv. Madhuri Mohan Gabhud


Internet is the main tool which plays significant role by helping Indian country to proceed rapidly towards Digital India. The dictionary meaning of Internet is, “the large system of connected computers around the world that allows people to share information and communication with each other’sThis internet has made our life and work so convenient and facilitated; hence the use of internet has been increasing day by day for various purposes like paying of bills online, sharing of information, online shopping, and online communication and so on. We all are much rely and depend on internet. This internet played major role during lockdown, with the sudden spike of COVID-19 pandemic all the countries in the world announced lockdown by which everyone was bound to stay home, schools colleges, offices, and hotels, public places temples everting were closed and shut by the government. As a result of this majority of people were seeking help of internet to interact with each other and continue their job online by work from home. Students were also shifted their physical appearances in the schools and colleges to online classes, zoom meetings and google meet. In such a crisis of pandemic no one wants to loose their educational career, so parents gave access to the smartphones and internet to child. To attend their online classes now students of minor age to major age have started using internet and smartphones. But as we know that, “every coin has two sides”. Therefore every usage of internet has its misuse. The increasing uses of internet also lead to an increase of misuse of internet as well as number of Cyber crimes on internet.


UN definition of sexual exploitation of children: The use of a child for sexual purposes in exchange for cash or in-kind favors between a customer, intermediary or agent and others who profit from the trade in children for these purposes—parent, family member, procurer, teacher.   

Cyber crime- , “criminal activity (such as fraud, theft, or distribution of child pornography) committed using a computer especially to illegally access, transmit, or manipulate data”.


As we know now a days the accessibility to the internet services are very easy and with cheap rate, anyone can seek the benefit of internet easily. But many people are using these internet services for their evil purposes like to threat someone, to extort money or compel someone to do some illegal act. Majority of times these criminals targets to children’s because they are vulnerable and easy to manipulate. Many of the offenders with the help if social media started their friendship with such child, child with the pure heart and lack of knowledge easily get manipulate and being threatened by such criminals they do such acts which is illegal in the eye of law. Following are the factors which are responsible for online sexual exploitation of children, such as


This is the main reason behind children’s online sexual exploitation. Due to the closure of the schools, colleges and universities has started to conduct online lectures and, by which students got smart phones and access to the internet. As a result of this students are spending more time on the smartphones and exceeding use of internet. Resultantly, causing increase in production and distribution of child sexual abuse material due to excessive use by perpetrators, adversely targeting children using the internet.

A report published by Indian Child Protection Fund (ICPF) stated that child pornography consumption in the country has spiked by an alarming rate of 95 per cent during the lockdown period. The increasing use of internet service also led to rise in number of Cyber crime. The famous “ boy’s locker room” case is regarding this misuse of internet services during lockdown, in which some boys who were member of that Instagram group i.e. Boy’s locker room shared some inappropriate images of  young girls ,obscene messages , and commented and planned for ‘gang raping’ of girls. When screenshots of these chat were leaked and went viral on social media, the Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights took notice of the issued various notices to Instagram as well as Delhi Police for further investigation. The member of said group are minors and students of 11th and 12th standard, but  misusing these internet services and social edit they ended up their future by becoming criminal and was arrested by Delhi Police.


Being compelled to stay home and asked for work from home many of parents neglected their child during this lockdown. It is the responsibility of parents to keep an eye on their child while they are using smartphones and internet. There are some parents who have no idea about this online child abuse and, misuse of internet and their consequences. To prevent this misuse and abuse of their child, the major role is played by the parents. Before giving access to smartphones, parents must get the information about internet and then educate their child properly about use and consequences of misuse of internet.


In the era of increasing rate of cyber crimes, it is necessary for everyone to be aware and be vigilant about every event occurring in the society. The one who is aware and took all precautions, never liable to pay the consequences of his unawareness. The internet services have made our work so easier but in other hand it also provides stage to those who are eagerly waiting to the art others and extort money from them.


Minors are like seeds that need more time to ripen, who don’t have any knowledge what is good and what is bad for them. The influence of pornographic material and lack of sexual education is also main factors of sexual exploitation of child. The report of Child Protection Fund (ICPF) cites data from the world’s largest pornographic website ‘porn hub’ and suggests a snowballing increase in search for keywords like “sexy child”, “teen sex videos” and “child porn”. Worryingly, the government helpline for child abuse received 92,000 SOS calls seeking protection in a short span of 11 days.  Cases of online harassment have seen an increase by five times since the outbreak of the Covid -19 pandemic, National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Rekha Sharma said.


The Covid-19 pandemic which already have set new challenge in front of the world ,where every doctors scientists are dealing with to fine cure and vaccine to curb down the spread of  such virus. Although there are very few cases of  Covid-19 among children, but children’s around the world have bound to stay home and kept away from schools, and asked for attend online lectures ,giving the opportunity to sexual predators to exploit children.

With the development of  technology and easy accessibility to such technology causes good as well as bad impact on the child and society Data from the department of telecommunications has revealed that between March 22 and March 28 ( initial part of the lockdown), India consumed an average 3,07,963 terabytes data. The increasing hours of time spent online and being home-bound children’s introduced themselves to the social media , having interactions with unknown and new friends cause exigent impact that child got their self  into trouble. The online sexual exploitation of children has been considered as a serious physical and psychological harm to child. Being victim of the sexual abuse it hammers to child’s mental health. The lack of communication between children and parents incite the emotional gap. Sometimes in news reveals that these predators and sexual abusers are known person or relatives, this fact also felt them that they are alone and helplessness triggered to depression.


 According to theory of punishment it says that, to prevent any crime in the society there must be strict laws, penal provisions and strict implementation of such laws. The expansion of internet technology and their use needs to be supervising under some restrictions. To create deterrence in the mind of abusers the preventives measures must be taken by rules and regulations. To protect the child rights and prevent the sexual exploitation of child and cyber crime the Parliament of India has passed the various laws such as –

1) Indian Penal Code, 1860

2) The Information and Technology Act, 2000

3) The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012

4) The Constitution of India, 1949

These are the laws dealing with the Cyber crimes and sexual exploitation of children in India.

1)    Indian Penal Code, 1860-

The Indian Penal code, 1860 provides punishment for cyber bullying and cyber stalking against women in which section -354 A to 354D deals with said crime.

Section 354 A- Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment.

Section 354B-   Assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe

Section 354C-   Voyeurism

Section354 D – Stalking 

2)  The Information and Technology Act, 2000

The Information Technology Act, 2000 enacted on 17 October 2000, dealing with Cyber crimes. The act was amended several times but the major amendment was made in 2008. It introduced Section 66 A which penalized sending offensive messages. Additionally it introduced provisions addressing pornography, child porn, cyber terrorism and voyeurism.

3)  The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012

To deal with child sexual abuse cases, the Government has enacted the new special law i.e. POCSO Act, 2012.  To provide protection of children from the offenses of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography and online sexual exploitation the said act provide penal provisions such as: Section 14 and 15 provide punishment for using child for pornographic purposes and for storage of pornographic material involving child and so on.

4)  The Constitution of India, 1949

The Constitution of India gives fundamental rights to the child under Article 21 i.e. Right to life with dignity and those who violates this fundamental right will liable for punishment.


The children are the important assets of our society and future of this countries development lies in their hands. So it is the duty of the state to provide proper education to the children and protect their rights. The state should enact and implement more strengthen laws to prevent Cyber crime and sexual exploitation of child. Children are innocent, they are unaware about the fact of how internet could destroy their future. It is the responsibility of parents that they should guide and educate their child about pros and cons of use of internet and their consequences. Parents should talk about sex with their child. The schools and colleges must provide sexual education to the children instead of hiding it. If the child is aware about these important things the risk associated with use of internet will decrease.