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Grassrooted Trust calls for action against cyber exploitation and violence


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The Grassrooted Trust has called for awareness and action against cyber exploitation and violence. Following is the statement issued by the Trust:

The Grassrooted Trust has been part of the National Task Force on Cyber Exploitation, set up by the National Child Protection Authority in June 2015. This task force included the Solicitor General and SL CERT. Over the past two years Grassrooted has recorded case studies and helped victims of cyber exploitation maneuver through the available response mechanisms, either through the National Child Protection Authority (for victims under 18, or still enrolled in schools) and the Cyber Crimes Division of the CID. 

We have also worked on prevention with schools in and around Colombo on cyber exploitation and violence, and supported the NCPAs cyber exploitation prevention education efforts in Vavuniya. In 2016/2017 Grassrooted also developed an online resource www.bakamoono.lk that includes information on cyber exploitation, and other information on sexual and reproductive health and rights education, in Sinhala, Tamil, and English. 

We define Cyber exploitation and violence (CEV) as follows – when someone is bullied, blackmailed, threatened, discriminated, and/or coerced, online. This includes the non-consensual distribution or publication of intimate photos or videos online, as well as any other material via memes, and edited images. Terms such as Revenge Porn, Girlfriend Porn, Collecting and Exchanging Nudes, Slut Shaming, and Sexting may also be forms of CEV. We understand CEV to be a manifestation of intimate partner and gender based violence. 

In response to the Cyber Security and Safer Internet panel at the Internet Governance Forum 2017, hosted by the Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter last week, we have the following recommendations. 

1. Conduct a National Study that will effectively assess the manifestations and extent of cyber exploitation and violence in Sri Lanka. 

2. Create a safe, confidential, and non-judgmental response mechanism that assesses and supports victims and perpetrators of CEV. This response mechanism must necessarily include law enforcement, counseling services, and prevention education. 

3. Develop and implement CEV prevention education curricula in partnership with the National Institute of Education and the Ministry of Education, to ensure that students receive a structured, uniform, age-appropriate programme across the country. 


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