August 31: Children are increasingly at risk of sexual abuse through internet, a study has revealed. In a programme organized to unveil the findings of a study conducted by Bal Awaj, an organization based in Lalitpur, it was found that children below 18 years were sexually abused through internet.
The study conducted among 514 children in Koshi and Bagmati provinces revealed that children were asked for pictures by acquaintances as well as strangers in internet and their pictures would be morphed to defame them.
In the study, 73 per cent children admitted that they accessed internet through Wi-Fi while 14 per cent from mobile data and 13 per cent from both sources, said Krishna Kumar Thapa, executive director of Bal Awaj.
Action such as asking for obscene photos from children and sending insensitive messages among others by abusing internet are considered acts of sexual misbehavior and abuse against children.
Attorney General Dr Dinmani Pokharel opined that online crime would not only affect children socially but also psychologically. Stating that earlier cases of sexual abuse against children were reported at physical level, he said that children are now prone to sexual abuse through the internet lately, which, he added, immensely affected those children psychologically.
He called for raising awareness about the laws put in place to protect children from abuses of all forms. According to him, the findings of the study would be a 'milestone' for formulation of law regarding protection of children from cybercrimes.
Similarly, CDO of Lalitpur, Rudra Prasad Pandit, expressed his concern over more and more children being subjected to sexual abuse through the internet these days.
He demanded for the provision in the 'setting' of every mobile phones that would prevent websites showing sexual videos of children.
Likewise, SSP Siddhi Bikram Shah lamented that even if complaints from child victim about sexual abuse were filed, there is a problem in taking action against the culprit of sexual abuse against children in lack of resources to find out where actually the sexual abuse took place. He said that the 'Child Save Mode' can be turned on in Wi-Fi to prevent children from accessing porn sites.
Likewise, Nepal Bar Association President Gopal Krishna Ghimire shared that children should be kept away from laptop, mobile phones and Ipads. -- RSS