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Online education stirs concerns over child sexual abuse

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A working group from the NCCC has been discussing plans to prevent online sexual exploitation of children. CNCC

Online education stirs concerns over child sexual abuse

National Cambodian Council for Children (NCCC) secretary-general Nhep Sopheap has expressed concern over child sexual abuse on the internet as children have been studying online.

Sopheap told The Post on Thursday she is concerned about child sexual exploitation online because most children carry smartphones. But she is unsure whether, apart from learning, they are engaged in activities that can be manipulated.

A working group from the NCCC has been discussing plans to prevent online sexual exploitation of children. she said.

“The main point we are considering is strengthening local governance by providing information to parents or guardians to monitor their children’s activities more closely.

“Obviously, during Covid-19, children learn online and the system is very broad. If they focus on the lessons it is very beneficial.

“But we are afraid they are not learning but turning to other things related to sexual exploitation. So, this is an issue that needs to be addressed urgently,” Sopheap said.

Child Protection Unit (CPU) operations director James McCabe said on Thursday that preventing child sexual exploitation requires observing the children’s actions and if there are any noticeable problems, parents must report the matter to the authorities.

Most children know how to use the internet and online platforms. But they can be easily deceived, he said.

“CPU is proud to have a close partnership with Cambodian police in protecting children and investigating offences related to children, especially online crimes.

“It is a huge problem around the world. The CPU has found nine online crimes so far this year,” McCabe said.

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