Child Pornography

Last updated on Apr 8, 2022

Portfolio Keyphrase: Child pornography

Tags: Abuse, Violence, Crime, Children, Media, Explainer

[Trigger Warning: The following content contains information on sexual and physical violence which some readers may find disturbing.]

The law can punish any person who uses children in any form of media (advertisements, internet, printed form, etc.) for sexual gratification. This includes1:

  • Representing a child’s sexual organs
  • Using children in real or simulated sexual acts
  • Indecent or obscene representation of children.

It is a crime to involve a child in recording, preparing, offering, publishing, or distributing pornographic material. It is not necessary that the child must be used only for the above activities. It is child pornography even if someone uses a child in making porn in any other way. For example, if a person is involved in editing, selling, or distributing child porn, or any other related activity it would amount to child pornography.

The punishments for child pornography may vary according to the extent of the involvement of the child and the nature of the crime.2

Crime Punishment
Using a child for pornographic purposes First offence – Jail time of at least five years and a fine

Subsequent offences – Jail time of at least seven years and a fine

Storing or having child pornographic material for displaying or distributing it Jail time of up to three years and/or a fine
Storing or having child pornographic material for commercial purposes First offence – Jail time of three to five years and/or a fine

Subsequent offences – Jail time of five to seven years and a fine

If any person knows about such pornographic material then they must report the same to the local police or Special Juvenile Police Unit or the cybercrime portal (cybercrime.gov.in). 3

  1. Section 13, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.[]
  2. Section 14, The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.[]
  3. Rule 11, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Rules, 2020.[]

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