IntroductionOn of the children.But at the same time, using

IntroductionOn the past twenty years, the Internet has become essential for the development, communication, and information seeking of the children.But at the same time, using the internet resulted in risks to children of doing some harms to both their physical and virtual world, like being groomed or lured in to sexual conversations or exploitation by adults, being bullied or harassed online ( Chile online safety-Global challenges and strategies-2011). While a majority of parents ( 59%) believe that the internet have a positive influence on their children (Rideout 2007), we cannot ignore the fact that the online child safety and protection has become a global issue, especially in Asia. It cannot be denied that the western world is also suffered from this problem, however, some differences among economy, domestic laws and culture make it less pressing than that of the Asia.


The discussion on this matter is drawn to the India and the United State. In the recent years, the number of children being harmed on the internet has been increasing. India’s National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB 2011) reports that cyber crimes have increased by 85.4 percent in 2011 in comparison with 2010 due to rapid technology movement, which leads to online sexual exploitation. In the USA, the rate of kids bullied themselves digitally whose ages from 12 to 17 are 6% according to a research conducted by Sameer Hinduja, professor of criminology at Florida Atlantic University and co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center. The paper examines the role of culture and education in affecting the way young people use the internet, as well as analyzes the economy and legislation, which have an enormous impact on the distinction between the online child safety in the two context.

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The paper addresses three questions:

1)    What types of risks children are facing on the internet ?

2)    What is the role of domestic law in preventing children from being vulnerable to online risks ( and how these has been done in the two context ) ?

3)    Do life style and education play an important role in this global issue ?



1)    What types of risks children are facing on the internet

The risks that children encounter on the internet are diverse, but basically can be devided in there categories


  According to Wolak et al.2006,in a national study by Harvard University, 42 percent of youth report either unwanted or wanted exposure to upsetting and pornographic content on the Internet or both, 66 percent of whom report only unwanted exposure, and 9 percent of whom report to be “very or extremely upset” (Wolak et al. 2006).

India: More than 50 percent of the Indian parents in McAfee’s study claim that they have found their children visiting a pornographic website, which is the highest compared to 13 other countries surveyed including Australia (26 percent), Brazil (45 percent), France (41 percent),and the UK (23 percent) (The Economics Times 2017).

The US: About 37 percent.


o   India:

 A recent study by Intel Security’s “Teens, Tweens and Technology Study 2015” indicates that 81 percent of Indian respondents between 8 and 16 years old are active on the social media, 22 percent of whom have reported being bullied online — this is the highest in the four countries surveyed (Australia, USA and Singapore) (Krishna 2015).

§  Wolak (2006) observes that youth (aged 10 to 17) who are bullied feel upset (30 percent), afraid (24 percent), or embarrassed (22 percent), and 54 percent of these victims are found negatively affected such as constant feeling of frustration, anger, or sadness.




Interacting with individuals especially on social media networks and chat rooms, can expose children to risks such as online grooming, and arranging to meet with potentially or actually abusive strangers.

      2) What is the role of domestic law in preventing children from being vulnerable to online risks ( and how these has been done in the two context ) ?

          Economy affects every aspect of a nation diffrently. In general, Internet penetration level has a positive correlation with the income level of an economy, an economy with higher income tends to have high Internet penetration.




Economies with High Internet penetration


Republic of Korea


New            Zealand


Economies with Mid Internet penetration






Economies with low Internet penetration







Table 1. Selected economies for the different levels of Internet penetration


Studies found that all those economies above are working to protect children from online risks, such as sexual abuse or exploitation . Regardless of their level of Internet penetration, all realise the threat and criminalise the production and distribution of child pornography under domestic law.


However, the quality of legislation seems different . Relevant laws in economies with high Internet penetration tend to have a clear and consistent definition of “child” and “child pornography”, and include offenses facilitated by all Internet-enabled platforms.


 Economies with high Internet penetration have also enacted laws and developed interventions on other aspects of child online safety, such as children’s exposure to harmful content, cyberbullying and Internet addiction. But there does not seem to be any targeted legislative response to the online privacy of children and the protection of children from information security risks. Moreover, comprehensive measures to equip children with the knowledge, tools and skills necessary for them to manage these risks are still lacking, particularly in developing countries in the region.


 It must be emphasised that drafting and implementing legislation are only one among the many ways that can be taken by governments. A study found that countries have used a mix of measures to address these concerns, including technical tools to filter content, end-user empowerment, and cooperation between multiple stakeholders, including children.


 The number of measures, policies and programmes suggest that economies with high Internet penetration are actively working to address child online safety issues. Most of the actors are from the public sector, but many of the initiatives involve public-private-civil society partnerships. As these are generally high-income economies, the public sector tends to be better resourced to lead and coordinate child online safety issues.



Despite of the significant increase in vulnerability of ASEAN children in cyberspace and a concerted effort to promote cyber security in general among ASEAN’s member countries, they are yet to adopt a region-wide policy on child protection issues such as production and distribution of child pornography, online child prostitution, children’s use of internet cafés, child trafficking through online forums and other problems arising from uncontrolled Internet use. For example, ASEAN is yet to develop a region-wide uniform policy on the legal definition of production, dissemination, storage and use of materials involving sexual abuse of children. However, it is noteworthy that ASEAN is not the only regional body having this problem. It is reported that only 29 out of 187 countries that are members of Interpol have passed legislation to fight against child pornography and 93 countries have never passed such legislation (International Centre for missing and exploited children, child pornography 2008). Further, ASEAN member countries have some fundamental issues that increase the complexity of formulating and implementing standardised laws across the region. For example, the age of consent to have sex and the meaning of sexual relationships with children differs significantly due to different ASEAN countries’ cultural and religious belief systems (UNESCO 2013). Some countries will allow adults to have sex with children as young as 13 years or even immediately after attaining puberty. For example, in Cambodia, 13 years is the age of consent to have sex whereas in Philippines it is 12 years and in Laos it is 15 years (Mahassni 2015). Criminals use this fundamental difference as a hole to exploit children because it is easy for them to cross borders. Singaporeans, for example, are reportedly a major population group that will cross borders to Thailand and Indonesia to commit serious child sex offences (Williams et al. 2008). The legal obligation of Internet Service Providers (ISP) to protect children in cyberspace is an area which needs specific mention. ISPs are major partners in crimes against children in cyberspace but their legal obligations are yet to be clearly defined in the ASEAN region. Many countries have introduced some regulations to guide the activities of ISP.For example, Singapore has adopted a policy where the Government decides what is acceptable content on-line and acts as a filter of internet content (Rao 2015). ISPs in the ASEAN region are yet to be obligated to identify the whereabouts of people who upload illegal images of children, or of businesses that operate child prostitute rings. It is time that the ASEAN region introduced legal obligations on the part of ISPs to ensure that materials passing through their network are legal, do not compromise the safety of children, and treat children with dignity and respect.


According to Child Safety Online: Global Challenges and Strategies in 2012,  relevant international law and key challenges to governments and law enforcement agencies has been outlined, and proposing a strategic protection framework with four main objectives: (1) empowering children and promoting their resilience; (2) removing impunity for abusers; (3) reducing availability of harmful material from the Internet; and (4) promoting recovery and rehabilitation for children who have experienced harm.


A general ban on child-inappropriate content up to defined age levels in Australia, Korea, Japan, New Zealand and most European countries (OECD 2012).

?     India            In India, there is a ban of 857 pornographic websites in 2015 (News18, 2015).•           The government designs sex education program for children: Ismail et al. (2015) reports that India’s National AIDS Control Organization and the Ministry of Human Resource and Development are designing programs to educate children on sex with multiple topics and perspectives.•           The government funds and launches campaigns and programs on protection of children on the Internet:o          An awareness program on ‘Sensitivity of Child Rights’ organized by the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights and Women and Child Welfare Department in association with Press Club, Mangaluru at Patrika Bhavan, District Child Welfare Committee chairman Nikesh Shettyclaim to be preparing to introduce the helpline for parents to seek advice and suggestions in child education and legal aspects of child rights and protection (The Times Of India 2016).o          MyGov CEO, Shri Gaurav Dwivedi states that the Government of India partners with Google in the cyber security education and awareness campaign to initiate a nationwide campaign sensitizing our youth and policy makers in Mission Safer Internet (Press Information Bureau Government of India Ministry of Communications, 2015)  On Safer Internet Day, The Government of India co-operates with Google and Cert-In to launch a campaign called “Good to know” to raise online safety awareness, which is supported by several organizations in India such as Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF), Data Security Council of India (DSCI), and Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) (Tech 2014).Multi-stakeholderism: Indian government brings plenty of stakeholders together (Google, Cert-In, DEF, CERT, DSCI, IAMAI) to participate in the implementation of Internet Safety campaign
Technological Determinism: As Internet and technology advances, India’s social and cultural structure has been changed:•           Issuing laws against cybercrimes, cyber bullying and other violations on the Internet will affect Indian’s evolution of cyber laws (Mehta & Jaiswal 2016). •           With countless online risks of child sexual exploitations, plenty of programs and campaigns are initiated for online child protection.
However, laws and policies are inadequate:•           Indian laws have been silent on cyber bullying while cyber bullying has been increasing over the years and has reached an alarming rate making India on the third position in terms of cyber bullying cases across the globe (Mehta & Jaiswal 2016).•           What crimes might take place is not fully foreseen, they can take place in many forms and can be tried under different provisions of Indian existing laws (Mehta & Jaiswal 2016).



3) Do life style and education play an important role in this global issue ?

Parents are physically and emotionally close to their children. They are the most suitable people to get involved in their child’s life and educate their child:•           Parents use apps to manage children’s online activities: o          39 percent of American parents use parental monitoring, blocking, filtering for children’s online activities (Anderson 2016).o          36 percent of Indian parents said they used software to monitor their children’s activity on these devices, according to a report by McAfee (The Economics Times 2017).•           Parents establish rules and directly check their child online activities and devices.o          Pew Research Center’s study shows 61 percent of parents check what websites their child visits, 60 percent check their child’s social media profiles, 56 percent add friend and follow their child social media (Anderson 2016).o          Indian parents are having an increasing tendency to check their child social media (Pillai 2015). However, there has not any specific statistics.•           Parents educate to children on the right and wrong doing online.o          Pew Research Center’s study shows 95 percent have talked to their child about what is appropriate to see and share online, with 40 percent doing so frequently, 95 percent have talked with their child about appropriate media to consume (such as books, magazines), with 36 percent doing so frequently, 92 percent of parents have ever spoken with their child about their online behaviors, with 36 percent doing so frequently (Anderson 2016). this is an advantage for parents in the argument on child protection, however, in Indian context, this proves to be a huge disadvantage.

•           Parents are too busy to talk to their kids:In India, working fathers spend only 7 to 8 minutes a day talking to their children, working mothers spend 11 minutes, and even stay-at-home mothers do not talk to their children more than 30 minutes per day (Pednekar 2012). •           Parents do not provide enough education:Indian parents find it inappropriate to educate children about sex (The Times Of India 2010) because they see sex as a taboo (Ismail et al., 2015) and they believe sex education is the cause for children to have more sex (Pujari 2015).•           Children tend to hide things from parents:81 percent of children in India hide their online activities from parents (Telenor Group 2013).•           Parents do not see things the way their children do:As mentioned above, 84 percent of the parents in India do not think that their child is being bullied online while their child claims to be cyber bullying victim (Tech 2014).


It must be emphasised that child online safety is a global issue. Due to the economy, law, culture and education, Asia are now threatened by these concerns. However, all the country are working hard to fight against this problem.