Wafaqi Mohtasib for developing effective mechanism to protect children against growing cybercrimes menace

Wafaqi Mohtasib for developing effective mechanism to protect children against growing cybercrimes menace

ISLAMABAD, Nov 30 (APP):Wafaqi Mohtasib (Federal Ombudsman) Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi has invited all stakeholders to work together for developing effective mechanism to protect children against the growing menace of cyber-crimes and other vulnerabilities rampant in various societies.

In this regard, he assured the international ombuds community of Pakistan’s readiness to share its knowledge, experiences and best practices in this field in terms of its commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the objectives of Asian Ombudsman Association (AOA).

He was addressing a seminar on “Threats of Cybercrime: Growing Vulnerabilities of Societies” organized here by Wafaqi Mohtasib in collaboration with FIA and COMSAT University.

Besides, participation by the representatives of Federal ministries and the relevant agencies, special arrangements were made for online participation by the members of Asian Ombudsman Association (AOA), the OIC Ombudsman Association (OICOA) and the Forum of Pakistan Ombudsman (FPO).

Qureshi stated that the Seminar was being held in the backdrop of the Universal Children’s Day which was observed last week and provided an opportunity to renew commitment towards promoting and protecting child rights.

He emphasized that the Constitution of Pakistan recognized special rights of protection for children due to their vulnerabilities and Pakistan was among the first few countries who ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) on November 12, 1990.
Qureshi stated that the exploitation of children including the growing cases of cybercrimes was a common feature across the globe and Pakistan was no exception.

He added that the Wafaqi Mohtasib has been deeply conscious of its role in pursuing the child rights issues in Pakistan.

The ombudsman further stated that the Office of Grievances Commissioner for Children had been set up in the Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat to redress the individual grievances of children, monitor the overall situation and address the systemic issues face by them.

This office provided the children with a forum to raise their voice in matters relating to them and had to its credit various initiatives including Zainab Alert Response and Recovery Act 2020 and a Bill on Prevention and Control of Cybercrime against Children/Criminal Law Amendment Act.

The seminar was also addressed by senior experts from Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Quaid-e-Azam University and the Grievance Commissioner for Children at the Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat.

Qureshi stated that safeguarding the rights and wellbeing of children was an important facet of ombudsmanship and various institutions were operating globally under different names.

He said that in line with the mandate of Wafaqi Mohtasib Institution including diagnose, investigate, redress and rectify injustice done to a person through maladministration; several initiatives had been taken to raise the profile of child rights.

Qureshi added that addressing maladministration was a mean to ensuring sanctity of human rights, achieving an ultimate goal of good governance, the rule of law and safeguarding against exploitation of all including children.

Speaking on the occasion as Guest of Honour, Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC), D Mukhtar Ahmad said that no technology was bad itself adding it depended its positive and negative use.

He underlined the need to motivate the youth about its positive use, adding, the minds of youth were crude and we needed to polish them with positivity.

Later, a panelist discussion was also held which was attended by educationists, policy makers, and intelligence officials, cybercrime experts, and IT professionals included Amb (Rtd) Fauzia Nasreen, Senior Advisor and Grievances Commissioner for Child Rights Wafaqi Mohtasib, Major (Rtd) Dr. M. Qasim Security Consultants for Cybercrimes, M. Ayaz khan, Director (Ops), Cybercrime Wing FIA Hqrs, Dr. Shabana Fayaz Chairperson Quaid e Azam University, M. Farooq Director Child Online Protection Committee, Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA), Ammar Jafri former director FIA , National response Centre for Cybercrimes and Dr. Sohail Asghar Incharge Islamabad campus , CUI. Vote of thanks was presented by Dr. S.M.Junaid Zaidi, Founding Rector of COMSATS University Islamabad.

They highlighted the types of cyber-crimes, their punishment, fines and the steps to create awareness among youth regarding these crimes.

They said that the new age of technology has created both opportunities and challenges.

This disruption has enabled criminal networks to take advantage and use it for illicit purposes in particular for sexual exploitation, pornography and related abuse.

“Giving the dependence of teachers, students and others on the use of IT, their vulnerability to the danger of getting unwittingly entrapped in unlawful activities, the panalists said that it was critically important to adopt remedial measures for safeguarding the young generation and children against such crimes including child exploitation, production, distribution and possession of child pornography, exposure to harmful contents, grooming, harassment and sexual abuse, and cyber bullying.

 

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