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17 September 2016

Indonesia: Children's Cellphone Usage Needs to be Controlled: Minister

Minister of Female Empowerment and Child Protection
Yohana Yembise (Antara / Akbar Nugroho Gumay)
This article concerns children accessing pornographic sites through their cell phones.

Children`s cellphone usage needs to be controlled: Minister
antaranews.com, Jumat, 16 September 2016

Magelang, C Java (ANTARA News) - Minister of Female Empowerment and Child Protection Yohana Yembise has urged parents and teachers to control the use of cell phones among children, as the device can easily allow them to access adult sites.

"According to a report released by a trusted organization that compiles data through satellites, around 25 thousand images of children emerge on the internet every day," she said in Magelang on Thursday.

Minister Yohana made the statement after the declaration of the Child Friendly Rukun Warga (Community Association) in Magelang.

The declaration was attended by a member of Commission 8 from the House of Representatives, Choirul Muna.

The Minister further explained that a set of laws regarding pornography had previously been established, and it needs to be brought forward again to limit children and their internet usage.

"The Ministry has prepared a set of regulations to control childrens cell phone usage as pornographic sites can easily be accessed through the device," she reiterated.

Yohana also emphasized on controlling the use of the electronic device in school.

Students can be allowed to bring their cell phone to school, but should be prohibited from having it in class as it is irrelevant to teaching activities.

Furthermore, teachers have reported cases of students who sit in the back row and were caught playing with their cell phones, even accessing pornographic sites in class.

"Not only in school, but all Indonesian kids should be protected from the negative impact of cell phone use both at school and home," Yohana remarked.

Blocking access to pornographic sites, she added, has not been as effective as it hoped to be.

It does not mean that cell phones should be banned for children; controlled usage that is monitored by parents at home and teachers at school is tolerable.

Choirul said it is best not to expose children to the gadget too early.

A cell phone can have both negative and positive functions and it is all in the hands of the user, children who are yet to become aware of its negative impact, should not be allowed to find out for themselves.

"Depends on our intentions for using the device, we can get both positive and negative content. Depends on which one we intend to access," he stated.

Choirul also noted that children need to be informed and encouraged to use cell phones for positive activities instead of negative ones, which is why the roles of parents and teachers are very important.

"Generally, children should not really be allowed to use cell phones as we worry that most of them will not use the device for positive things," he concluded.(*)


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