Goa SCPCR holds Workshop on Child Rights and Online Gaming

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Panaji: The Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights in collaboration with CyberPeace, a leading organization dedicated to promoting online safety and security, organized a one-day workshop focused on Child Rights and Online Gaming in partnership with UNICEF at Taj Vivanta Goa on 4th November 2023. The event aimed to bring together experts, industry professionals, policymakers, educators, and parents to engage in a comprehensive dialogue concerning child rights and online gaming.

The primary objective of the workshop was to facilitate a comprehensive dialogue among experts, industry professionals, policymakers, educators, and parents on the issues surrounding child rights and online gaming leading to help stakeholders to identify best practices, legal frameworks, and ethical guidelines that can ensure the protection and well-being of children in the online gaming space.

Themes covered during the workshop included understanding online gaming trends, legal and ethical aspects of child safety, interactive workshops and best practices with group discussion and call to action.

Mr. ILN Rao, Senior Project Manager from CyberPeace, expressed his enthusiasm for the workshop, stating, “This workshop in collaboration with UNICEF is a significant step towards enhancing our understanding of online gaming trends and their impact on children. By bringing together experts from various fields, we hope to empower parents, teachers, and industry professionals with the knowledge of existing legal frameworks and ethical guidelines for child safety in the gaming industry.”

Additionally, emphasizing on the importance of cybersecurity and cyber hygiene in eGaming Shubhrajyoti Bhowmik, Partnerships Officer representing UNICEF, said “The development of practical strategies for parents, teachers, and industry professionals to ensure child safety online is crucial. Together, we aim to identify collaborative initiatives and issue a call to action for creating safer online gaming environments for children. This workshop with CyberPeace is a collective effort to safeguard the rights and well-being of our youngest digital citizens.”

Speaking about the Importance of Online Safety for Children, Peter F. Borges, Hon’ble Chairperson, Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, mentioned “Time is now. We need to take a deep dive in controlling the ill effects of online gaming among our children. The approach should be regulatory instead of banning and should contain efforts of the government, society, and family.” He further laid emphasis that parents’ role is of immense importance, i.e., to keep a watch and check over the games children are playing, money being spent by children online and prevent them from having unlimited access to parents’ bank apps and cards. There is a need to regulate screen time and promotion of off-screen activities like outdoor sports and outings in the family. He also stressed on need to report the cyber spaces issues to relevant authorities.

Ramesh Rao Thotapalli, CEO, Cards52.com & Investor at FairyTales Hospital and Edwin Colaco, Superintendent of Police, Anti-Terrorist Squad, Goa Police conducted a session on “Impact of Online Gaming in Digital Environments”, where they discussed the importance of collaboration between Govt and Game developers to eradicate CSAM (child sexual abuse material) circulation over gaming platforms.

Participants had the opportunity to engage in insightful discussions, share experiences, and gained a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with child safety in online gaming.

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