More and more concern is being set to Child on line safety given that access to information for education is very much online, and many governments are giving importance to Internet access at home and schools. However the vulnerability of Children on internet are many nowadays :
- Solicitation, Grooming and Luring of Children
- Sexual Exploitation / Abuse ( Causing or recruiting a child to participate in pornographic performances
- Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination
All depends on the Law in place in a country to attend to such breaches , and in the absence of a proper Cyber Crime / Child on-line safety legislation , can we think anything about the following :
- Any other law in place specifically addressing Cybercrime-related offences / investigation to protect the child.
- How to attend to procedures related to search and seizure of computer data, computer systems and storage devices ?
- How to attend to cases where the data is residing outside the country than where it is reported ?
- Where and how does Law enforcement get the power to attend to cyber crime ? ( i.e taking away stored data / imaging / retrieval of evidence)
- What obligations are put on people having knowledge / skill to help investigation when offences are disclosed ( criminal sanction) ?
- How preservation, disclosure, production of stored data be dealt with in cases of online child pornography or abuse?
- What will be the obligations of Internet Service Providers in such cases? Can there be online real time interception of data ?
There are many grey areas that will not be answered if there is no such law , and of course if there is no international cooperation to combat child abuse online.
Other than laws, countries are also looking at :
- reating major Awareness Campaigns for children at School, and for Parents to protect the children when they use internet. This include educational and information resources to promote awareness among parents, teachers and other professionals who work with children., and awareness among media professionals, in order to provide them with the necessary information to report child online safety issues. Also promote awareness among law enforcement agencies on the sensitive issues of child safety.
See : The Council of Europe - Empowering and Protecting the Children on Internet : http://www.saferinternetday.org/web/council-of-europe/my-home
- Provide for filtering at the level of ISPs as safety measures for schools and public Internet Access points. Filtering at the level of all ISPs for known sites hosting Child Pornography .
(iii) Convention on the Rights of Children
(iv) On-line Child Safety Action Plans ( In Mauritius the National Computer Board has worked on an action plan in 2009 : http://www.gov.mu/portal/sites/isf/files/Final%20Action%20Plan%20ve...
We see that many countries are involved at the The European NGO Alliance for Child Safety Online (eNACSO) , and the Focus areas are :
- Internet governance and online child protection
- Fight against online child sexual abuse material
- Identification and protection of child victims of sexual online abuse
- Protection and prevention measures in children’s use of interactive technologies
- Online grooming, manipulation, and sexual exploitation
- Children’s participation in policy development
Thanks to awareness campaigns people are becoming more alert on this vulnerability of children on internet. However law enforcement has much to do in this area as regards to cyber patrol and investigations.
Inputs from friends are most welcome on this topic !!!