Experts discuss role of technology in child protection at Plan India conference

Experts discuss role of technology in child protection at Plan India conference

Agency News

New Delhi, Dec 6: Plan India, in partnership with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, hosted a plenary session on the role that technology plays in preventing any threats to children on the second day of ‘Plan For Every Child-Girls Get Equal’ national conference here.

The session was attended by Ish Kumar, Former Director, National Crime Records Bureau; Shelley Thakral, Head of Policy Programmes (India, South Asia, and Central Asia), Facebook; and Vineet Kumar, Founder, Cyber Peace Foundation among others.

Commenting on the role of technology in ensuring child rights, Dr. Ish Kumar, said, "We have 15,660 police stations in the country. Around 94 percent of the stations are connected online today and data can be shared in real time. So technology is an enabler for the law enforcement agencies."

Ms. Shelley Thakral said, “Young people are developing digital literacy at an increasingly young age which means we have to be much more responsible on the digital media for the young children.

At Facebook, we are going great lengths to do everything to listen to our community and to be adaptive. Our goal is to ensure that everyone has the right to express themselves. We need to be able to provide them the right privacy and security. We have online safety experts from NGOs from all across the world and we have zero tolerance to images that shows exploitation of children,” she said.

Commenting on Plan India’s commitment to safeguarding child rights in the country, Ms. Bhagyashri Dengle, Executive Director, Plan India said, “This year conference will focus on improving the system’s approach in the country to strengthen child protection.

In partnership with the Ministry of Social Justice and empowerment, and 80 eminent speakers from diverse background, we would deliberate on systems strengthening for child protection as a critical factor in the governance of any country, she said.

The key partners would focus on the systems to create strong safety nets for girls and young women with a vision to enable children, especially girls to learn, lead, decide and thrive,” Ms Dengle said.

Earlier in the day, a session called ‘Make our World Safe - Who is Accountable?’ was hosted on children’s experiences and perceptions of safety at home, school and community.

The voices have been gathered through participatory consultation with children between 5-10 years across four states of Plan India programme areas like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Telangana.

The sesame workshop initiated a conversation with children as well as caregivers through which a lot of issues emerged. Children are afraid of older boys in school, strangers, the fields where people drink and gamble, marketplaces where traffic rules are disobeyed.

Caregivers are highly motivated in such discussions and insist on arming their ward with awareness and self-defence.

The three-day conference will facilitate multiple sessions, presentations and discussions on various aspects of child protection including the need for research and evidence building; role of media, communities, grassroots institutions, executive, legislature in putting the last girl first; integrated approaches and the role of technology in achieving gender justice. (UNI)