The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has appointed a Task Force to combat the growing threat to children and young persons posed by bullying and sexual harassment via social media sites like Facebook and Instagram and other mobile and web based applications like snapshot, Viber and WhatsApp.
The task force comprises members from the NCPA, the Attorney General’s Department, the Police Department, the Ministry of Justice, and the NGO community.
The Task Force will immediately start taking action to investigate and prosecute to the full extent of the law those using the internet or mobile devices for purposes of bullying, harassing, stalking, or extortion of children and young persons, the NCPA said in a statement.
The Task Force will also begin formulating recommendations for new legislation aimed specifically at criminalizing cyber bullying and cyber harassing and the like and protecting the victims of such crimes. The NCPA’s cyber watch unit has been very active in the recent past and receives and investigates many complaints relating to the use of the Internet and has been actively monitoring several sites for potentially abusive behavior.
Members of the Task Force include Ms. Natasha Balendra, Chairperson of the NCPA, Sajeeva Samaranayake Deputy Chairman of the NCPA, Suhada Gamalath, Solicitor General, Nandana Munasinghe, Senior Deputy Inspector General Crimes, and Hans Billimoria, the Grassroots Trust.
The NCPA is concurrently working with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Justice, Sri Lanka CERT, ICTA Sri Lanka, the Department of Police, several private sector organizations, NGO and INGOs to develop a module for use in schools on the safe use of the internet with a special focus on cyber bullying and other cyber crimes. The module will be piloted in a number of schools in the Colombo District and thereafter be distributed throughout the country. (Colombo Gazette)