Jakarta (ANTARA) - The risk of children being exposed to inappropriate material is greater in online learning, head of the Indonesian Pediatric Association's (IDAI's) child protection task force, Dr. Eva Devita Harmoniati, has said.

"During the pandemic, many children have been accessing online media or social media because they are learning remotely. So, their chances of being exposed to negative content or becoming victims of online sex crimes have increased," she highlighted at a seminar on preventing sexual violence against children, here on Wednesday.

She said the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on education, with all learning activities shifted online during peak infection periods.

As a result, children have been forced to use technology, including social media, without clear boundaries on accessing learning resources, thereby increasing their risk of exposure to inappropriate content, she explained.

According to a survey by ECPAT Indonesia, three out of 10 children are receiving obscene messages, either in the form of pornographic images or videos, Harmoniati noted.

She predicted that the number is actually greater than what has been reported. Children who are sexually abused often choose to remain silent or withdraw from their environment, she pointed out.

"This can be an iceberg phenomenon. That is, where the actual number is higher than the reports or complaints to ECPAT, the Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry (PPPA), or the KPAI (Indonesian Child Protection Commission)," she said.

Meanwhile, other forms of sexual violence that can affect children is the creation and sharing of child pornographic content, as well as perpetrators forming relationships with children to blackmail them into sending pornographic materials, she added.

Therefore, the IDAI has urged all parents to start educating children about reproductive health, such as teaching children the names of body parts and how to take a stand if someone tries to touch their private parts.

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Translator: Hreeloita S, Kenzu T
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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