NEW DELHI: Online games such as Momo Challenge indicate how online child violence has spread its tentacles far and wide across the world, say cybercrime experts.
Cybercrime, cyberbullying or usage of graphic images of children and hate crimes come under online violence.
The impact of exposure to such violence is not restricted to the physical and psychological aspects, as some children exposed to roughness are at a higher risk of engaging in anti-social or criminal behaviour later in their life.
In India, violence against children is recognised only when it is registered as a criminal act.
Thus, the abuse which children face within the boundaries of intimate and familial relationships like thrashing by their parents, bullying in schools, and marital rapes of children entering into early marriages are not reported because they are not considered as criminal acts.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), there has been an increase of 20 per cent in reported incidences of crime against children in 2016.
As many as 1.7 billion children experience one or more forms of violence annually, as per the 2017 global report on ‘Ending Violence in Childhood’.
“Online safety is both a matter of equipping children with skills and awareness to navigate the internet safely, as well as a matter of increasing the capacities of parents and teachers, whose skills and knowledge need to be updated to keep up with children and continue to engage with them in supportive ways,” says Saumya Kapoor, who played a significant role in preparing a handbook for all stakeholders to end the rampant violence against children.
“At the same time, corporate and civil society organisations, and governments must work together to create safe spaces where children can hone their online skills and literacy, free from the risks of violence.”