India’s 1st e-hotline tackles child porn

India finally has its first internet hotline, called the ‘Aarambh Initiative’, to encourage people to report online child pornography and curb a surge in photographs and videos on the internet showing children being sexually exploited, the founders of the Indian anti-trafficking charity Prerana said.

The hotline is a simple online form which the public, police, internet companies and victims can access in either Hindi or English.

The e-hotline will first report, then block and then take down the images. While blocking can happen within a couple of hours of reporting, taking the content down could take a week depending on the country where the servers are hosted, according to officials at Prerana.

There is no accurate data on the number of Indian children being exploited in pornographic material as many victims do not go to the police due to fear and shame.

It was launched by Union Minister Maneka Gandhi and is an important step forward to removing online images.