Imphal: Manipur social welfare minister Nemcha Kipgen on Thursday launched a video on the prevention of ‘Online Child Sexual Abuse’ in Manipuri and English versions in Imphal to spread awareness and combat the child sexual exploitation.

Speaking at the event, minister Nemcha said that video will serve as awareness for all to remain alert on online child sexual abuse to protect the children from such evil and to let the children grow in a healthy environment for a bright future.

She mentioned that online child sexual abuse is a real threat to the mental growth of our children. The problem is likely to be magnified by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the pandemic, children are spending more time on the virtual world via the internet either through smartphones or through computers. They are most tempted to browse social media or play online games after their “online classes”, she stated.

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“It is possible that the parents think the children are still attending their online classes whereas, in reality, they might be playing or browsing after their class. Thus, parents should be more vigilant and check on their children from time to time,” the minister said.

Minister also drew the attention of all the parents, teachers, concern departments, civil organisations and the public in general to remain vigil and focused on ways to curb the danger of online child sexual abuse.

While urging the parents and children to keenly observe for any suspicious change in the behaviours of the children, minister Nemcha further stated that in most cases, the perpetrators will first befriend the child; entice them to perform or discuss sexual activities and finally blackmail them into doing illegal sexual activities.

The children who are victims of such online sexual abuse may not seek help from the parents or elders and may not even disclose it to his/her friends due to fear of social stigma. This will lead the victim to mental trauma and mental disorder, she added.

In case of such cases detects or report, the minister has urged the people to call the Childline’s Toll-Free Number 1098 or contact District Child Protection Unit, Juvenile Justice Boards or Child Welfare Committees which are functional in all the 16 districts of Manipur under the department of social welfare.

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