Phones in India are now to come with panic buttons due to the volume of sexual assaults 4 years ago

Phones in India are now to come with panic buttons due to the volume of sexual assaults

Mobile phones in India must include a panic-button from the start of next year, and satellite location tracking technology from 2018.

According to Bloomberg, the feature would be activated by pressing a designated button on a smartphone or holding the numbers 5 and 9 down on more basic phone models.

The telecommunications Ministry in New Delhi made the announcement on Monday, and all manufacturers including Apple and Samsung must comply.

When pressed, the panic feature will dial emergency services, though the statement doesn’t specify which number.

Currently, in India there is no centralised emergency response number, but this is due to change in the next few months.

“Technology is solely meant to make human life better and what better than using it for the security of women,” Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

There has been a great deal of stories in the media about the scale of the rape and sexual assault epidemic in India in recent years, and the panic buttons are a good step, but the attitudes of men who attack women in this way must also be tackled.

According to Reuters, there were over 30,000 rapes committed in India in 2014, almost 90% of victims were raped by people known to them.