Over the last few years, India has witnessed a steady growth in internet access to children and the youth, which further accelerated during the covid lockdown as more and more children started spending time online for education, learning and entertainment. That’swhy child safety on the internet is becomes crucial in this era of internet.
As online interactions increase, more and more content is created and shared among people, helping them form new and wonderful connections. Sometimes, however, these interactions also make them vulnerable to harm.
Therefore, post the pandemic, online sexual abuse of children increased 400 times.
Effective regulation and timely prosecution of perpetrators are critical to advance child safety on the internet.
Importance of Safe Harbour for child safety
- More than a third of young people in 30 countries report being cyberbullied, with 1 in 5 skipping school because of it.
- Children are spending more time online than ever before. And they’re getting there sooner. Around the world, a child goes online for the first time every half second.
- When browsing the internet, children may be exposed to hate speech and violent content.
- Some 80% of children in 25 countries report feeling in danger of sexual abuse or exploitation online.
- UNICEF support coordinated national responses to online child sexual exploitation in over 20 countries – using the WePROTECT Global Alliance for child safety on the internet.
About Information Technology Act, 2000
- It came into force on October 17, 2000, and contains cyber laws in India.
- The main objective of the Act is to provide legal recognition to electronic commerce and to facilitate the filing of electronic records with the government.
- Section 66E – Publishing obscene images
- Section 67 – Publishes or transmits unsolicited material
- Section 67A – Publishes or transmits explicit sex
- Section 67B – Abusing children online
- Section 79 – Safe harbour (Legal immunity to online intermediaries)
Cyber security issues in India
India is home to a population which is rooted in diverse socio-economic backgrounds. As per the living standards of people, a wide range of devices are in use – from high-end secured electronic devices to low-cost mobile phones. This makes it difficult for authorities to set uniform legal and technical standards for regulating data-protection. Additionally, digital literacy and awareness among the population is also very low.
- Given the magnitude of services and opportunities that the internet has to offer, there is immense potential for children to learn and grow in the digital world.
- However, this is only possible when the rapid proliferation of online harm is held in check.
- Therefore, Collaborative efforts by the government, industry, civil society and child-safety experts are imperative.
- India’s new IT Act is an ideal focal point for all these efforts. The collaborations for an internet that is wholly consistent with the rights of children.
Our new Digital Rules,Our new Digital Rules