Friday, April 19, 2024
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A new online reporting system for child sexual abuse launched under President’s patronage

The launch of an online platform enabling the swift removal of websites, photos, and videos containing or potentially containing instances of child sexual abuse took place today (28) at the Presidential secretariat under the patronage of President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Recognizing the urgency of addressing child abuse in cyberspace, this initiative targets the dissemination of nude photos and indecent videos of children through internet and social media channels. Implemented by the National Child Protection Authority in collaboration with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), renowned for its expertise in internet child safety enforcement, this program receives financial support from Save the Children and Child Fund.

Following the implementation of this online system, individuals can now visit the website of the National Child Protection Authority at www.childprotection.gov.lk to report incidents of indecent photos and videos of children exchanged online. These reports will be handled by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) in collaboration with the National Child Protection Authority. Subsequently, the offending videos will be promptly removed from the internet, and legal action will be pursued against the perpetrators.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing this event said;

“For several decades, this sector has been neglected. The government has indeed neglected it, and the attention it warranted has not been provided. The magnitude of the problem now is such that resolving it within a year seems implausible. We lack the capacity to address the issue comprehensively; therefore, we must employ a variety of strategies.

Firstly, short-term recommendations must be promptly implemented. We propose that the existing committee include stakeholders from the government, specifically authorities in child care and probation services, along with representatives from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, and the police force. Strengthening police numbers, particularly in women and children’s desks at every police station, is imperative. This effort must be coordinated with measures against drugs.
Additionally, we must consider establishing a new structure and enacting new legislation. I advocate for the formation of a Children’s Council to oversee both the promotion of children’s interests and their protection. The management of probation and child care services should be devolved to the nine provinces, as I believe this responsibility does not necessarily belong to the central government.”

He added that immediate action should be taken on short-term recommendations, while the process of enacting new legislation pertaining to children’s rights should also be expedited.

For further information, contact the Law Enforcement Division at 011-2778911 extension (269) or visit the official website www.childprotection.gov.lk.

The launch of this online initiative was attended by Minister of State for Women and Child Affairs and Social Empowerment, Ms Geeta Kumarasinghe, Chairman of the National Child Protection Authority, Senior Lecturer Mr Udayakumara Amarasinghe, Secretary of the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs and Social Empowerment, Ms Yamuna Perera, and representatives from various organizations dedicated to ensuring child safety.