The virtual world has exciting possibilities for nurturing children but they need to be protected from being taken advantage of on the Internet,“ UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.
Marking World Telecommunication and Information Society Day on Sunday -- whose theme this year was “Protecting Children in Cyberspace,”-- Secretary-General in a message noted that children and young people are among the groups of people who most widely use the Internet and mobile devices.
“As they surf through cyberspace seeking information and entertainment and building social networks, they are also among the most vulnerable to exploitation,” he added.
“Without safeguards, their precious lives are at grave risk in the vicious world of cyber-criminals and paedophiles that prey on easy targets.”
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child both recognises the right to access to information but also accords protection against all forms of inducement to engage in unlawful activities, the Secretary-General said, calling for these provisions to be applied rigorously.
“The virtual world has exciting possibilities for nurturing children and helping them grow into creative, productive adults,” he said.
“But we must mind the pitfalls that could scar them for life,” Ban said, calling on policy-makers and industry leaders to take action to ensure the safety of all in the rapidly-evolving virtual world.