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The province of Manitoba will today bring forward the first legislation of its kind in Canada to compel all citizens, including computer technicians and Internet service providers, to report any images or examples of child pornography.
The initiative is being introduced as an amendment to the province’s Child and Family Services legislation by minister Gord MacIntosh and will expand the definition of child abuse, which already has a mandatory reporting law, to include child pornography.
“Under the new law, if someone comes across something they believe to be child pornography they have a duty to report it to Cybertip.ca,” said Lianna McDonald , director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, the registered charity that runs the Cybertip website.
The penalty for failing to report will be up to two years in jail and a $50,000 fine, Ms. McDonald said. It’s the same penalty for those who don’t report child abuse, although Ms. McDonald said she doesn’t know of any instances where that provision has led to a prosecution.
“What it means is that under the proposed legislation, [citizens] have a legal responsibility,” she said. “The idea is to facilitate reporting.”
Ms. McDonald said that making it a legal requirement might remove some of the moral qualms that exist for those who find images of abuse on a computer, for example, and might be concerned about violating someone’s privacy.
“It certainly will facilitate things for people thinking, ‘Should I or shouldn’t I report?’ It makes it clear. For companies that repair computers, it’s clear they have a duty to report,” she said.
The proposed law could have significant implications for Internet service providers, according to Roz Prober of Beyond Borders, an organization that advocates for the protection of children.
It’s already mandatory in the United States for Internet service providers to report instances of child pornography, but the issue has not been tackled in Canada until now.
“The foot-draggers in this scenario are the Internet service providers,” Ms. Prober said. “In the U.S. they can be heavily fined [for not reporting child porn] and I think that’s the way to go here.”
Ms. Prober said she hasn’t seen the proposed legislation but expects it to be comprehensive.
Citizens will be directed to report their suspicions to the Cybertip.ca website. The site receives funding from the federal Department of Public Safety and from Manitoba Justice, Ms. McDonald said, and since 2005 it has acted as a national clearinghouse for all Internet child sexual-abuse reporting. In that time, it has received more than 25,000 reports from the public.
Ms. Prober said the site is very sophisticated and secure and would be able to resist attempts to infiltrate its database.
She said it’s important the public pass on as many tips as possible because each new image allows police to narrow in on the victims and perpetrators of sexual abuse

URL – http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071128.wmanitoba28/BNStory/National/home/

Do visit the website and have a look through the comments section. I find that most insightful, more than the article actually !

Ongoing discussion – http://www.orkut.com/CommMsgs.aspx?cmm=24455884&tid=2568922879391121981&na=4

A young Adivasi girl was stripped and photographed running for protection as onlookers whipped out their ever-handy camera phones and took photographs, videos and mms clips.. another sign of technology at it’s mis-used best.

One wouldn’t consider this as Sexual Abuse really.

Look again.

Publicly exposing a young girl – she was completely naked.
The onlookers did not have good intentions on their minds when they were taking those photographs.

Further information –

We do not have concrete proof of this yet but it is alleged that the girl was sexually assaulted. Given the circumstances, it is not impossible.

Shame on whoever is responsible for this. We refuse to upload the currently available photograph of the girl for reasons of journalistic integrity.

It is unfortunate that even the most widely-circulated Kolkata daily, “The Telegraph” did not blur out her face, even though it blur out her personal body parts.

Thinking about the Government’s recent wake-up call to Sex Education pulls me backwards to this event at Oxford Bookstore which we hosted way back in the summer of 2005.

Dr.Sibnath Deb and Brother Brendan MacCarthaigh attended and provided some valuable input on the past and present statistics of abuse and incest in India and abroad.

The latter speaker’s statements and crackling sense of humor educated and entertained while Dr.Deb’s statistics roused verbal violence in the form of audience members wishing to inflict extreme physical pain on offenders. I recall being asked to speak but felt no need to, owing to the chemistry between the speakers and the spoken with (not to, mind you!).

Here’s the URL , please ignore the photograph – http://www.telegraphindia.com/1050514/asp/calcutta/story_4735420.asp

November 19th is the day we remember the promise we made to our children.

It is the day we read the UNCRC and make a check list to see if we are really giving our children their “writes” and “rights”.

Elaan has been occupied with in-house restructuring and longterm planning activities and will not be holding an event this year.

We are, however, working on a 5 tier sex education plan who’s longterm objective IS intended to benefit the child in conformity with the UNCRC, which India signed in 1992.

[UNCRC = United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child]

Three examples of why online safety is recommended.

1 , 2 , 3 .

The aforementioned examples, although of cases not based in India, could very well be in India soon. As a matter of fact, they are occuring in local schools without the knowledge of parents and teachers.

A few years ago, a young student of St. *’s School, Kolkata, began meeting middle-aged men whom he discovered via online chat rooms. The men would meet him at his home, or theirs, and sexually abuse him.
A friend intervened and claimed to have “cured” him of his “homosexuality” and the matter was closed. The boy, now a confused young man, is unsure of his future and is reported to be scouting around online for the only solace he knows.

A young girl who had previously lived in a repressed social atmosphere, discovered freedom over the internet for the first time. She began communicating with a vengeance, “making friends” with everybody and even posting her personal cellphone number with semi-nude photographs on her online profile. It wasn’t long before she began receiving solicitations that went beyond coffee invitations.

There are so many cases, all in India. Unless the media and society wake up to the fact that it does happen to their own people in this very country, it will continue to be a sad, repressed, pressure-cooker like existence for these victims of online sexual abuse who’s fate and post-abuse trauma is similar to those who face regular abuse.

When ?

Yesterday

There’s nothing remotely new or shocking about the concept of teachers taking advantage of students.

You might want to educate yourself to the fact that some students try taking advantage of teachers as well.

Teachers have crushes on students and vice versa (Dylan anyone?)..

Murshidabad URL – http://telegraphindia.com/1071108/asp/bengal/story_8525018.asp

Orkut has been duly updated for comments and input.

I recall a particularly handsome male tutor-slash-musician-slash-relative whom i never crushed on personally (too old), but my friends went nuts over him like he was Jim Morrison. It was silly the way they’d queue up to go to his classes just to sit and stare at him while he taught ( he was a good teacher btw), some people even claimed that he reciprocated their emotions. Yuch.

Then there was another female tutor. Lord help anyone who got on the wrong side of her at any time of the day. She gave “volatile” a new dimension altogether, but for money and male students, it was all toned down to a degree that although there wasn’t a free show on in front of your face, you just knew something was wrong.

There’s a teacher at a famously “vigilant” college who is famed for more than his erm, educational prowness. Everyone knows. The girls blog and write odes to him quite shamelessly. šŸ™‚
There’s another teacher at the same college who has a reputation for a little more than just odes on a blog by a student. No matter how many insults i get for writing this, i will do so – student-teacher abuse.

When are student-teacher relationships non-abusive ?

For one, when both are adults! Preferably when they are not in that uncomfortable hierarchy of “me teacher, you student” and that creates an automatic imbalance in the relationship, like it or not. Keeping it out of the classroom would help.

The Blog

Elaan is an NGO dealing with Child Sexual Abuse issues.

Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) and Incest are painful and unprovoked acts of violation. In India, where subjects relating to sex and personal safety are not discussed, the issue is shrouded in secrecy as the prevalence of abusive acts increases. The objective of this blog is to encourage reading, debate and constructive awareness implementation methods via the 'blogosphere.'

* Feel free to leave comments or SPEAK-OUT here!