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Digital technology for child protection in Sri Lanka

Friday 9 October 2015, by SIGNIS

Colombo, Brussels, October 9th, 2015 (SIGNIS/dailymirror.lk) In an effort to protect children through digital technology, the Telecom and Digital Infrastructure Ministry of Sri Lanka is seeking a relaxation of the current regulations barring students from taking mobile phones to school, reported the Daily Miror.

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Harin Fernando

The ministry said it would pave the way for the introduction of a special mobile phone device to protect them. Telecom and Digital Infrastructure Minister Harin Fernando told a media briefing that this system would be in place by next week. He said recent rape and killing of the little girl at Kotadeniyawa, the killing of a 10-year- old boy in Athurugiriya and several other crimes against children had influenced the ministry to introduce this new devise. Explaining about this system, the minister said a child will be given a personal mobile phone through which he or she could dial his or her parents’ numbers or dial the police emergency.

The phone will not have other facilities such as games or internet with the service providers being in a position to control the network. “We know there will be shortcomings and loopholes in the system. These will be rectified in time to come. What is important is to get started at some point or the other,’ he said and assured that the shortcomings would be addressed as soon as possible. The devise will be launched by two main mobile phone service providers Mobitel and Dialog which will introduce another innovative system named ‘I card’ which is a tracking devise where a parent will have a track of their children. Meanwhile plans are afoot to appoint an inter-ministerial committee to prepare a national cyber policy especially aimed at fighting cybercrime.

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