The Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (GSCPCR) has issued a stern warning regarding the escalating incidents of cyberbullying, sexual exploitation, and harassment targeting minors within online gaming communities.
According to a report by O Herald, GSCPCR Chairperson Peter F Borges highlighted these alarming trends at the recent National Conference on Child Rights and Well-being in Online Gaming and eSports in India, jointly organized by the CyberPeace Foundation and UNICEF. Borges emphasized how predators take advantage of the vulnerability of children frequenting gaming platforms, posing serious risks of sexual exploitation, trafficking, or coercion. During the conference’s youth session titled “Regulating Online Gaming and Balancing Innovation and Child Protection,” Borges discussed the adverse effects of unchecked gaming, including desensitization to violence and neglect of fundamental responsibilities.
Panelists at the conference echoed Borges’ concerns, stressing the urgent need for proactive measures to protect children from exploitation, violence, and neglect in online gaming environments. They advocated for nurturing digital literacy among youngsters and promoting open communication channels between children, parents, and the gaming community. It became evident that safeguarding child welfare must be a top priority in the regulatory frameworks governing online gaming.
In response to these revelations, stakeholders across sectors must collaborate to develop robust policies and enforce stringent measures to combat abuse and exploitation of vulnerable children in the online gaming world. Additionally, efforts to educate parents and children about potential dangers within gaming platforms and establish support systems for victims of cyberbullying and exploitation are crucial.