Child welfare group OK’s minors to access FB, other social networking sites

CHILD welfare group, Akap Bata Party-List, today welcomes moves to allow minors, as young as 13 years old to access Facebook and other social networking sites.

According to the group, it is one of the basic rights of every child to express their own views, opinions, thoughts and ideas on whatever platforms and channels.

The group also said that children must not be prohibited to access the internet for this further gives them avenue to play, have fun, learn and explore new things as well. But they clarified that as children needs to be given access over the social networking sites, their parents, guardians and even elders must give more time to guide and monitor their online activities.

As guideline, Akap Bata Party-List reminds adults of the ’10 Internet Rules for Children’ so that kids can determine the things that must and must not be done online. This includes:

Not to do:

·          Never announce personal information online.

·          Never send out picture or anything without first checking with parents/guardians.

·          Never agree to meet face-to-face someone.

·          Never respond to messages that are cruel or makes you feel uncomfortable.

·          Never give out passwords to anyone other than your parents/guardians.

To do:

·          Be a good netizen by not doing thing that may hurt others and that are illegal.

·          Tell parents/guardians about distressing information encountered online.

·          Talk with parents/guardians regarding rules on going online.

·          Help parents/guardians understand how to learn things over the internet.

·          Check with parents/guardians before downloading or installing software

‘As adults need to provide more time to monitor our young netizens, the government must also do its role to protect and help our children by means of strengthening existing laws against online abuses against children. We also urge the government to strictly and fully implement Republic Act 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009,’ says Arlene Brosas, national spokesperson and first nominee of Akap Bata Party-List.

She added, ‘The internet is being used today as the widest platform of child pornography all over the world as pornographic images and videos of children can easily be posted online and spread virally on various social networking sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter among others.’

‘Greater possibilities for children using internet can also access these pornographic images which makes them victims of child pornography as well,’ Brosas said.

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