Lately, there has been an increase in the number of reports about child pornography cases. The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) finds it very disturbing and frightening that the number of individuals accessing child pornography online has been increasing. This means that the number of children becoming victims of child pornography is also increasing.
The Bukit Aman Sexual, Women and Children Crime Investigation Division (D11) principal assistant director Asst Comm Siti Kamsiah Hassan is reported in a news article as saying that the number of IP (internet protocol) addresses in Malaysia accessing child pornography from the year 2018 to January of this year totalled 136,993. The highest number of cases detected by the police are located in Selangor, next is Johor and then Sabah. She also said the number of cases in a year are increasing every year.
As such, it is good to know that The Budget 2023 has enabled the Malaysia Internet Crime Against Children (Micac) Investigation unit to expand to all the states in Malaysia and that experts are being trained to tackle cyber sexual crimes.
However, protecting children against cyber sexual crimes like becoming victims of child pornography is something that needs to start in the home. One of the ways that children are lured and trapped into committing sexual acts which are then recorded and posted online is through meeting strangers on the internet. Reports state that these criminals attract children online by befriending and speaking kind words to them or offering them incentives for things like online games. To counter this, parents need to be aware of the websites their young children are visiting and who they are speaking to online. There is software available that will allow parents to track their children’s internet usage and block sites that they know are not appropriate for their young children.
Sadly though, many times the offenders are people that the children know such as their own family members. This is why it is also important that children be taught in school about “good touch” and “bad touch”. Children need to be made aware of what would be considered as inappropriate physical touch because sometimes the people who are supposed to protect these children are the ones who end up abusing and exploiting them.
We ask that the government take this matter seriously by putting in place measures to stop the proliferation of child pornography. Schools should also have facilities where children can talk confidentially and share their problems. These are in conjunction with the suggestion that parents need to take more initiative to monitor what their children do online as well as the Ministry of Education introducing this as a specific topic to be discussed in schools.
Mohideen Abdul Kader
Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP)
Press Statement, 14 July 2023