NCPCR: Social media platforms posing new challenges to child safety

Lucknow, Aug 4 (IANS): The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) is of the view that social media platforms are posing new challenges to child safety.

“Children are being manipulated on social media platforms, technically known as grooming and these agencies are not ready to cooperate. The government wants these companies to give parents the right to access to accounts of children on social media,” said Priyank Kanoongo, chairperson of NCPCR while talking to reporters.

Claiming that the social media platforms chose to remain ignorant to concerns like phishing, grooming, cyber bullying and so on, he said: “We are not asking them to give the rights to strangers and therefore their dilly-dallying over engaging parents to monitor the social media use of their children is shocking and unacceptable.”

He asked parents to be extra cautious about their child’s activity online.

“The world of the deep web and dark web is filthier than they can even comprehend. They must educate themselves to save their children from risks. We have had scores of examples, linking allurement of young girls and boys on social media with trafficking networks,” he pointed out.

Citing an example, he said, “Recently, a young girl from Kolkata, who posted her songs on Instagram, was lured by someone posing as a music director. The girl was rescued from near Indore.”

Kanoongo further said that sexting and exchange of self-shared pornographic material is emerging as the commonest crime.

Talking about the achievements of the NCPCR in the past few years, Kanoongo, said: “Some of the few things which make my work extremely satisfying include being able to undertake a social audit of all child homes in the country. Then, the commission has been able to reunite over 1.45 lakh children with their own homes. We have been able to formulate a policy for street children and push for admission of children from economically weaker sections into schools.”

The NCPCR chief lauded Uttar Pradesh government for its strategy on Covid-19 orphans.

“What UP did to safeguard the Covid-19 orphans’ interests was remarkable and other states should follow it,” he said.



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