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CHILDREN’S RIGHTS IN THE CYBERSPACE

Author: Aparna Kumari, I year of B.Com.,LL.B. from Institute of Law Nirma University


Today’s Children Are Tomorrow’s Leader - However, where they will lead the globe in the future is dependent on their current progress. Young children's emotional, social, and physical development all have an impact on their total growth and the adult they will become. That is why it is critical to recognise the importance of investing in very young children in order to enhance their future well-being. Children's rights and a special place in society have long been recognised by society, but the changing landscape of social accountability is shifting the direction of child development. Increased cases of child abuse, whether mental or physical, are causing worry throughout the world.


Every country has laws and policies protecting children's rights. UNICEF, as an international organisation, works to address these issues on a global scale by developing and implementing programmes and policies to strengthen child protection systems and promote positive social norms in all contexts in order to prevent and respond to violence, exploitation, and abuse directed at children. The irony is that, despite a plethora of rules and procedures, children continue to face risk and uncertainty.


What Is Cyberspace? Cyberspace, which includes the internet and other telecommunication networks, may be defined as a worldwide sphere of interdependent and interacting networks. In layman's terms, cyberspace refers to the internet in its broadest definition. Cyberspace encompasses everything that is connected to the internet. The vast digital body of information and material transferred via many networks around the world falls under the jurisdiction of cyberspace. Every bit of digital information transferred across such networks, whether it's our home Wi-Fi connection or our workplace phone connection, adds to the extension of the cyber-domain.


Cyberspace Can Harm Teenagers - youngster may be harmed by cyberspace if they receive improper content, are contacted, or act inappropriately. When it comes to obtaining incorrect or hazardous information, there are a variety of options. Commercial organisations can send adverts, spam, sponsorships, and ask for personal information to minors when they visit websites using cookies or other advertising tactics. Furthermore, a youngster may be exposed to violent or hostile information online, instilling an undesired aggressive attitude in the child. It's also not impossible for a youngster to receive pornographic or sexual content online, which might negatively influence the child.


Unwanted advances or connections may also be made with the youngsters over the internet. Commercial organisations' tracking or gathering of personal information might make a youngster feel uncomfortable and encroach on her privacy. It may also result in bullying, harassment, or other forms of cybercrime, making the youngster an easy target. Furthermore, the youngster may be subjected to unwelcome sexual approaches online, which may have a psychological impact on the child in the future.


Children Unknowingly Commit Crime - Above all, online gives youngsters plenty of opportunities to commit crimes and misdeeds without having to think about the repercussions. Most of the time, youngsters who engage in such delinquent behaviour are unaware that their actions or omissions are considered delinquent. One of these actions is illegal downloading. When they see something appealing, most youngsters don't think twice about pushing the download button; nonetheless, this might lead to some serious problems later on. Children may make the mistake of bullying or harassing other people online, or hacking, gambling, or generating and posting unlawful information, all for the sake of their eagerness to learn new things and ideas and to establish their superiority. In the instance of cybercrime, however, children are entitled to the same preferential treatment as adults while going through the legal process.


Protecting Children In Cyberspace -To keep children safe online, strategies that encourage digital literacy, cyber resilience, and cyber know-how are needed. Only then will one be able to agree on how to establish a cyberspace that is safe, open, accessible, inexpensive, and secure. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is the primary legal framework that governs children's rights across the world today. The UNCRC does not specifically provide any rights for children in online, which appears to be an issue at first glance. As a result, it appears that children in cyberspace do not have any form of enforceable or legal rights.


The need of providing victims of cybercrime with effective, efficient, and child-friendly solutions cannot be overstated. The establishment of support lines, awareness programmes, and hotlines can all be valuable in this regard. It is also vital to establish an environment in which children feel believed and protected, in addition to providing appropriate support methods. However, no list of suggestions would be complete without one developed in conjunction with children, therefore utilising their right to participate in upholding that right. With additional advancements in the socio-technical context, there is a risk of developing social worries regarding the technology's successful use.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Advocatekhoj.com. 2022. Indian Judiciary: Protection of Rights of Children | Blogs | Advocate Khoj. [online] Available at: <https://www.advocatekhoj.com/blogs/index.php?bid=8424fe94d205814a366812383&bcmd=VIEW> [Accessed 24 April 2022].

2. Itu.int. 2022. PROTECTING CHILDREN IN CYBERSPACE. [online] Available at: <https://www.itu.int/itunews/manager/display.asp?lang=en&year=2009&issue=04&ipage=06&ext=html> [Accessed 24 April 2022].