Theme – Be wise online
Date- August 19th, 2017
Time – 9:30am onwards
Locations- Colombo, Matara, Jaffna, Batticaloa, Killinocchi, Negombo, Kadawatha, Kandy, Galle, Aluthgma, Horana, Mulathiv, Kagalle.
What is cyber mobbing/ exploitation
Cyber exploitation and violence (CEV) is when someone is bullied, blackmailed, threatened, discriminated, and/or coerced, online. This includes the non-consensual distribution or publication of intimate photos or videos online, as well as any other material via memes, and edited images.
Sri Lanka CERT 2015 data on types of online victimization also suggest an increase in cyber exploitation and violence in Sri Lanka, especially around the use of social media applications. In 2016, the number of social media related incidents appear to have declined slightly (2200) perhaps due to the fact that victims found other avenues of support. They still appear to form the bulk of the reporting to SL CERT i.e. 2200 out of a total of 2341 incidents.
Our response as parents, teachers, and concerned adults, cannot be to ban the use of social media, or the use of handheld online devices. The benefit of being online in terms of knowledge gathering and knowledge sharing is immeasurable. The online world is another space where we communicate with each other, where we build relationships. We must be conscious of respect for self, respect for the others, and respect for difference in all our interactions, both online and off it.
The purpose of this walk is to make people aware of their responsibilities and children regarding the current state of Child Abuse in our country. VOICE Walk was a step towards creating awareness of abuse in society. It was launched in 2013 as a brave first step towards raising awareness against child abuse. In 2014 the awareness was widened by adding media coverage and in 2015 we took a step further and launched Safe House for potential victims of child abuse and we also opened a Pre-School, Day Care, and Educational Programs for Children, and four years down the line we want to take it another step further to network all government and non-government children’s organizations and reaching out to 25 different cities with 25 awareness walk and to bring a holistic approach for children as well as to achieve the following objectives in order to create a wider awareness among parents and children about cyber mobbing in Sri Lanka and how you could prevent it as well as to protect your child from been victimized.
- Awareness – We have to create an environment that a child is safe and secure, and they can enjoy their childhood with happiness and bliss. The dark side of internet and cyber bullying should be eradicated and the first step is creating awareness, exposing perpetrators and giving back our children a safe and secure environment to grow in. Creating awareness among parents, educators and the society is the initial step.
This year we give more emphasis on the facts of cyber bullying as many parents are unaware of the severity of this problem and many are helpless not knowing what to do, the steps to take to combact this menace and find justice. We would like to stress the importance of understanding the dangers of unsafe methods of using the internet and how to help them secure their private information and photographs to safeguard their children.
- Networking – United we could spread awareness, collaborate and share resources together. Partnering with government and non-government organizations will help us create a better and stronger group and bring about changes faster. Regardless of whom we work for, let us strive to make changes as a unit of one support system.
- Advocacy, Policy making – The current laws in relation to children who face mental/physical abuse and cyber bullying are inadequate and in most cases do not take into consideration the mental trauma the child victim faces. The current laws need to be amended to address the growing culture of abuse that children face. Be it physical, mental or online. We urge the policy makers to partner with those engaged in child welfare who work closely with children who have been victimized to bring about greater understanding of the problem. We believe this dialogue will broaden the understanding of the current problems and in turn it would help to bring about the required changes to the existing laws and place greater trust in the ability of the law to protect those from harm in Sri Lanka.