ChildrEN SafEty Retrieval (CENSER) System for Retrieval of Kidnapped Children from Brothels in India
Monday, May 11, 2020
1,628 kidnapped children were retrieved from a single railway station in northern India in 2018. These children were in the age group of 4 to 15 years and included 134 girls amongst which the youngest was only four years old. This has become an epidemic in India where gangs kidnap children from weaker sections of society, later to be sold either to brothels for prostitution or factories for child labor. The local law enforcement agencies only raid these places if they have confirmed identity for any of the children. Skylark labs ChildrEN SafEty Retrieval (CENSER) System is being used by non-profits in India to identify and then convince law enforcement to raid these places to retrieve the kidnapped children. The volunteers of the non-profits go to sell makeup to the brothels while wearing hidden cameras. The children buying makeup are recorded on the hidden cameras which are used by the CENSER system to establish a match with the database of missing children. Since the facial features of children have changed significantly since being kidnapped, the proposed system can perform age-invariant face recognition. A majority of the time, the image of the child is not available at the age when he/she was kidnapped. In that case, the CENSER system uses kinship analysis as well as matches with the sketch of the child. The talk will detail this very severe problem and how the CENSER system is making a change to save these kidnapped children.