The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), a leading global NGO specializing in the area of online safety, recently hosted a dialogue on ensuring a safer online environment for children. The forum was themed “Connect, Create, Respect: Empowering parents and educators to guide connected children and youth,” and was supported by Netflix, UNICEF India, and FICCI Arise.
The focus of this event was on how to enable children and youth to benefit from the advantages that the Internet has to offer. At the event, the discussions included how to equip youth and their guardians to use online tools and other techniques which ensure that they have a safe and age-appropriate experience online. According to an Alphabet report, over 80% of Indian VOD consumers found online safety features useful and trustworthy in keeping themselves and their families safe. In addition to Stephen Balkam, CEO of FOSI, speakers at this event included Javier Aguilar, Chief Child Protection Officer, UNICEF; Vedant Khaitan, Trustee, Khaitan Schools; Gowri Ishwaran, CEO, The Global Education & Leadership Foundation (tGELF), Rakshit Tandon, cyber security expert; Dr. Ranjana Kumari, Founder of Centre for Social Research; Divya Balagopal, Advocate and Partner at Mundkur Law Partners and Bengaluru based lawyer Ms. Pratibha Jain from Nishith Desai Associates.
In his opening remarks Vedant Khaitan said, “Online safety and the security of children are not the responsibility of any one person or body (such as schools). It has to be a shared responsibility between educators, parents and the community at large. While the Internet is the biggest enabler for empowering our future leaders and the workforce, it comes with its own set of challenges and solutions that need to be understood, appreciated and dealt with in a constructive manner for the benefit of humanity.”
Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) CEO Stephen Balkam, said, “Online safety is everyone’s responsibility and everybody has to work together to maintain it. This can best be done through open dialogue with various stakeholders. Today’s forum provides a great platform to exchange ideas and insights on Internet use and learn about local issues and problems. Now more than ever, it is essential to empower young people to be good digital citizens and to “be the change” for a safer and more civil Internet.”
Netflix’s MD of APAC, Kuek Yu-Chuang, said, “Netflix encourages families to make wise decisions when streaming content from the Internet, including our own service. We are proud of the product features on our service such as PIN parental control that empower our users to make these decisions.”
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