Protecting children in the cyber environment
Action month for children 2023, themed “Joining hands to reduce harm to children”, has been launched by many localities across the country, with important messages, from building a safe, friendly and healthy living environment, to preventing accidents and injuries towards ensuring children's right to life.
In addition, the localities have also been paying great attention to learning to swim and safety skills in water environments and the widespread deployment of calls to the National Child Protection Hotline No. 111, to report all acts of child abuse.
Many other close messages such as “Listening to children by heart and protecting children by actions”, “Families and schools work together to keep children safe on the internet” and “Safe cyberspace, future digital citizens”, have all received positive responses from the social community by practical actions.
One of the important issues during action month for children 2023, focuses on protecting children in the internet environment. In the context that the cyber environment has been increasingly complex and has many potential risks, building a safe cyberspace and protecting children from these risks is a top priority.
Education managers and experts on children stressed, that it is crucial to join hands to create a safer and healthier digital world environment and life. That requires a proper assessment from practice and at a strategic level, as well as the forecasts and consideration of experiences and lessons of Vietnam and the world, to have more specific and practical solutions. In addition to protecting children, it is essential to promote opportunities for children to participate more actively in the online environment.
It is crucial to join hands to create a safer and healthier digital world environment and life.
On many recent forums, domestic and international experts raised the issue of promoting information collection and data sharing among national, regional and international agencies and organisations.
Another important issue is the need to continue reviewing and supplementing the legal and policy system to enhance the prevention, protection, effective handling and fight against acts of child abuse in the internet environment, through child protection procedures in specific environments. Many experts and managers noted the solution of creating a "digital vaccine" to protect children in the online environment.
These are software initiatives to block, filter, remove, and monitor children's internet use at home and school. However, the "digital vaccine" must be created in terms of technical solutions, as well as the knowledge and skills to accompany children from their parents and teachers and the skills of respecting children’s privacy and opinions.
In August 2022, the Ministry of Information and Communications consulted and coordinated with the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs to promulgate regulations on coordination among the three sectors in receiving information, investigating, handling with child abuse acts, as well as monitoring data related to child sexual abuse in the online environment.
The purpose of the regulation is to strengthen responsibility, mobilise and effectively promote the integrated capacity of agencies and units under the three ministries, in carrying out several tasks to implement Decision No. 830/QD-TTg, by the Prime Minister, on approving the programme of “protecting and supporting children to interact healthily and creatively in the cyber environment in the 2021-2025 period”.
To improve the effectiveness of the protection and prevention of child abuse in the cyber environment in the near future, the Ministry of Information and Communications needs to strengthen law enforcement; promptly and resolutely handle violations, especially bad and malicious information on social networks such as Facebook and YouTube; and resolutely request foreign service-providers to remove infringing information.
Specialised agencies should strengthen supervision and require websites and social networks provided by domestic organisations and enterprises, to strictly comply with current law provisions on preventing and eliminating malicious information. Telecommunications businesses and internet service providers must have solutions to advise and guide subscribers on how to manage access and strictly implement the prevention of inappropriate information content for children.