Working Together For Better Online Child Protection

Groups from various sectors work together to prevent and tackle online child sexual exploitation and abuse.

24 April 2019

CYBERJAYA, 24 April 2019 --- The Internet provides children and young people with unprecedented levels of access to information, culture, communication and entertainment. However, without adult supervision and proper guidance, children can be exposed to threats such as online child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA), which includes live streaming of child abuse, cybersex trafficking, child grooming and sextortion.

The children in East Asia are increasingly at risk as they are exposed to various forms of online sexual abuse and violent threats. There have been regular reports and evidence from studies which reveal that some countries in the region, especially Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and Philippines are hotspots for CSEA cases.  

Malaysia is also not spared, as Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) reported that Malaysia has close to 20,000 IP addresses downloading and uploading visuals and photographs of child pornography in South East Asia.

CSEA is forecasted to be prevalent with the explosion of technology around the world. Global technology trends has generated a paradigm shift in both the victims’ online exposure and the offender’s ability to share CSEA material securely and communicate anonymously with children and other prepretrators online.

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) Chief Compliance Officer, Zulkarnain Mohd Yasin said that the Malaysian government has embarked on various initiatives to ensure safe online environment for children such as Klik Dengan Bijak.

Under the Communications and Multimedia Act, Section 211 prohibits the Content Application Service Provider or other person using the service to provide, produce or solicit indecent, obscene, false, menacing or offensive content with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any person.

Meanwhile, Section 233 prohibits the abuse of network facilities or network services to provide such communications for commercial or non-commercial purposes to any person.

“Through collaboration and information sharing between Interpol, PDRM and MCMC, the Commission has restricted access to more than 400 websites that contain child sexual abuse content from 2015 to 2018,” Zulkarnain added.

UNICEF as one of the key partner agencies in Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, is establishing global political response to combat online CSEA. In Malaysia, UNICEF works with the government, regulators and partners to create a digital environment in which children feel safe while online so that they reap the rewards of going online while being aware of the risks.

“In the 30 years since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, childhood has changed. Bullying, abuse, sexual exploitation has moved from the schools and playgrounds, to online chatrooms and platforms. We must therefore employ new strategies, engaging with different stakeholders to ensure children are safe”, said Marianne Clark-Hattingh, UNICEF Representative in Malaysia.

“The entire digital eco-system needs to be engaged to create a safe digital environment for children. We appreciate MCMC’s leadership in convening this event. Enhancing online safety of every child and young person is a collective responsibility and one that UNICEF is proud to support.”

The Industry Seminar and Workshop on Child Sexual Exploitation & Abuse (CSEA) 2019 will be held for two days, 24 and 25 April 2019, at MCMC Old Building, Cyberjaya.

The seminar is open to participants from government agencies, law enforcement and relevant industry players. 

Key issues related to CSEA will be presented and discussed in order to achieve a better understanding in preparing regulatory and policy approaches related to CSEA.

In a fast changing digital world that we are living now, protecting children online is beyond awareness of risks and threats. As such, this collaboration between MCMC and UNICEF aims to ensure that the internet environment is safe for all children to use.

-ENDS-

About Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is a statutory body established under the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission Act 1998 (MCMCA) which implements and promotes the Government's national policy objectives for the communications and multimedia sector. MCMC regulates and promotes the development of the communications and multimedia industry which includes telecommunications, broadcasting, and online activities, postal services and digital certification. The Communication and Multimedia Act provides that MCMC undertakes a policy implementation role, while policy decision-making is vested with the Minister.

For more information, go to MCMC's website.

Media Contacts

Rachel Choong

Communications Officer (Media)

UNICEF Malaysia

Tel: +60124162872

Markus Lim Han King

Deputy Director, Corporate Communications Department

MCMC

Tel: +603 8688 8000

Nurhalili Nadia Mustapha Kamal

Head, Corporate Communications Department

MCMC

Tel: +603 8688 8000

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.

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