Current Affairs

Two reports per month of child abuse on the internet

The Anti-Bullying Section is receiving an average of two reports per month of children being bullied via the internet. In a conference dealing with the bullying of minors on the internet, cases were mentioned of children being bullied – among other cases – after having posted pictures of themselves in indecent postures on the internet.

Every year in Europe about 50,000 pictures of children in indecent poses are posted on the internet. Of these, 70% are of children under the ages of ten with a lot of them ending up as targets of abuse. Joanna Buhagiar, who is an Anti-Bullying Guidance Teacher, told TVM that the anti-bullying unit receives an average of nine reports of bullying every month, two of which are of a serious nature.

Joanne Buhagiar said children that are just 12 years old are posting pictures of themselves nude on the internet. These believe their pictures will be deleted by sites like snapshot. However, there are those who bypass this system and manage to record the pictures. Once pictures are posted these are never deleted and one never knows where they may end up.

Ms Buhagiar was one of the spokespersons at the conference organised by Euro parliamentarian Marlene Mizzi based on the theme “Type in Love – Type out Hate.” Spokespersons dealt with digital dangers that include cyber bullying and sexual abuse on the internet and how children may be protected from these abuses.

She said that often children being bullied on the internet are too embarrassed to inform or discuss with their parents because they feel they are the guilty party and therefore parents should not wait for the matter to happen but should discuss with their children about dangers that may lie online.

Joanne Buhagiar insisted there should be greater awareness among parents as to how to protect their children from digital abuse worldwide.