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Govt committed to keeping kids safe in cyberspace

Govt committed to keeping kids safe in cyberspace

The Government supports keeping our children safe from dangers in cyberspace and is glad to assist in the nationwide campaign of child protection organisation ECPAT to improve internet safety awareness, Justice Minister Phil Goff said today.

“ECPAT is making available its Internet Resource Kit aimed at parents and educators. It includes posters, stickers and valuable information on safety tips for children using the internet.

“The Ministry of Justice is pleased it has been able to provide support and funding for this resource.

“The internet has opened up a wealth of education information, entertainment and communication opportunities for our children. Unfortunately, it also presents new dangers.

“Child abusers can use the net to contact potential victims. ‘Grooming’ – turning a conversation into encouragement for a physical meeting is an example of this.

“Just last month a man was charged with abduction and sexual intercourse with a girl aged between 12 and 16 following a meeting arranged through the internet.

“The kit aims to provide simple, straightforward and effective advice and education on safe internet practices. It provides direction to parents and educators on what safeguards to put in place while it encourages safe net practices for kids.

“It is not enough to simply censor children’s access to the net. They must be taught how to use it wisely and safely. That is the goal of the education campaign of ECPAT and includes the site designed specifically for children at www.cyberkidz.co.nz. ECPAT has its main site situated at www.ecpat.org.nz which is another useful resource.

“The response to the initial pamphlet and poster campaign has been extremely positive and the further distribution of this kit aims to build on that success,” Mr Goff said.

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