WCD ministry to set up alliance against online child abuse
New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS) The Women and Child Development Ministry on Monday said it will form a national alliance against online child sexual abuse.
In a statement, the ministry said that child sexual abuse was a multi-layered problem which negatively impacts children’s safety, health and well being for which it had planned to set up the national alliance aimed at engaging parents, schools, communities and NGO partners.
Local governments, as well as police and lawyers will also be the part of the alliance to ensure better implementation of the legal framework, policies, national strategies and standards in relation to child protection and child rights.
In this context, the ministry hosted a day-long consultation on Monday with all stakeholders including Ministries of Home Affairs, Health and Family Welfare, Electronics and Information Technology, Department of School Education and Literacy, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and civil society organisations working on the issue.
“Child abuse is finding new forms and channels through mobile and digital technologies.
Online child abuse and exploitation amplifies existing forms of offline bullying, stalking and harassment.
“Even though India has a comprehensive legal framework for protection of child rights in the form of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015, POCSO Act, 2012 along with RTE Act 2009 and recently amended Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2106, there is limited awareness of online risks for children, both among parents and guardian and children themselves,” the statement said.
It said that all stakeholders must work together to ensure protection of children from online sexual abuse.
The ministry also said the national alliance on Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation has broad objectives like bringing common definition of child pornography including amendment of acts (Information technology Act, POCSO Act), set up a multi-member secretariat based in the ministry and providing a platform for government and NGOs and other child rights activists for networking and information sharing.