Nov 22, 2010, 12:13 PM
These risks include: an explosion in the production and distribution of child pornography online, resulting sexual abuse of children to make pornography circulated online, sexual predators using chat rooms and messaging to contact and 'groom' children for sexual abuse, often with tragic consequences. Children being encouraged to post online personal details, photos and videos of themselves, exposing children and young people to abusive and damaging materials online, whether legal or illegal.
Children and young people are especially at risk as leading users of all kinds of online and interactive media- internet, chat rooms, news groups, web cams, mobile phones, and online and offline gaming.
According to CPA National Co-ordinator, Mr. Njundu Drammeh, some governments, law enforcement agencies and IT companies, are acting to protect children online. While such efforts are commendable, much more can be done to protect children.He stressed that The IT industry and governments around the world need to act now to ensure children and young people enjoy the benefits of new information technologies without risk of harm. The IT need to collaborate at home and abroad on standards, protocols and working tools to help parents, teachers and children to stay safe online. The IT companies, he said, also need to fund wide-ranging public education and awareness campaigns, in co-operation with government and community organisations.
Governments, he added, need to adopt policies to ensure the IT industry makes it products and services safe for children and young people. Law enforcement agencies and judiciary need to co-operate internationally to stop the exploitation and abuse of children through new information technologies, and to ensure proper care and protection for children harmed by such abuse.