Juvenile protection online a top priority

By Wang Ying in Wuzhen, Zhejiang (China Daily) Updated : 2017-12-05

More measures have been urged to protect minors from getting hurt and having their rights infringed when they use the internet.

As the most active users in China, young people have benefited a lot from the internet, but exposure to obscene content, leaks of personal information and cyberbullying are encroaching on the rights and interests of minors.

Against that backdrop, a special forum themed "safeguarding the future online protection of underage users" was held at the 4th World Internet Conference on Monday, the first time in the annual event's history.

According to the latest report on China's internet development issued by the China Internet Network Information Center, as of this June, the total number of Chinese netizens reached 750 million, and those younger than 19 numbered 169 million, accounting for about 22 percent, China National Radio reported.

"The internet has many positive effects on juveniles during their growing up, but we have also seen some problems such as the negative information and individual information leaking, which makes the protection of minors an imminent task," said Wang Liming, executive vice-president of Renmin University of China.

According to Wang, although there are laws to protect juveniles' rights and prevent them from committing crimes, China still lacks a law that specially protects minors' rights in cyberspace.

"To protect their rights in a timely fashion, legislation should go first," Wang added.

The Chinese government will soon roll out regulations to protect juveniles in cyberspace. The regulations will lay a lawful foundation for protecting those rights, said Yin Dongmei, a member of the secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China.

Fatoumata Ndiaye, deputy executive director of UNICEF, praised China's consistent efforts to protect children, as both the Chinese government and internet enterprises are actively involved in efforts to guard against the abuse of children online.

Chinese internet giant Tencent, for example, set a daily limit for playing time on its popular smartphone game King of Glory to ensure that youngsters have enough time to rest and study.

"Our company has raised the protection level of underage users. Since our special team was set up in June, our business operation and maintenance, and product design have all put juveniles' rights as a priority," said Chen Juhong, vice-president of Tencent.