Kaikilla lapsilla on oikeus suojeluun ja turvaan

Tieto auttaa lapsia toimimaan turvallisemmin netissä. Johtajamme ja erityisasiantuntijamme Nina Vaaranen-Valkonen ja Hanna-Leena Laitinen haluavat kuitenkin muistuttaa, että rikoksen uhriksi joutuminen ei ole koskaan uhrin syy. Mielipidekirjoituksen voit lukea HS.fi

Opinion article in English

Every child has the right to be protected  

Our directors & senior specialists Nina Vaaranen-Valkonen and Hanna-Leena Laitinen’s opinion article published today 25.5.2020 on Finland’s largest daily newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat

Today is International Missing Children’s Day. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic all crime prevention campaigns are focused on the internet. Even though online safety campaigns play an important role in promoting knowledge and online safety, we as Senior Specialists of online child protection, would like to remind everyone that becoming a victim of violence is never the victim’s fault – the guilt and shame rests always solely on the perpetrator. Sexual harassment, grooming and sexual violence toward children are multifaceted and difficult social problems and oftenserious, traumatizing acts of violence against a child.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the number of images and videos of child sexual abuse known as #CSAM circulating online and the perpetrators are constantly developing new ways of committing sexual crimes against children. We at Suojellaan Lapsia ry /Protect Children have years of experience and expertise in fighting against online child sexual abuse and exploitation. Our work analyzing CSAM (through Project Arachnid) and working closely with victims of sexual violence and their families has given us expertise in the field of online child protection. We want to highlight that it is extremely difficult for us all, children, adolescents as well as us adults, to recognize situations where we are becoming the target of grooming or other criminal aims. Children and adolescents cannot be responsible for protecting themselves online; it is the  responsibility of adults. It is known that children often blame themselves for what happened and feel shame and guilt afterwards for not recognizing the perpetrator. Therefore, it is extremely important to use the right terminology when speaking about online sexual crimes against children. Every child has the right to protection and safety, the responsibility for that rests with us adults. We need strong international and national collaboration to make sure that every child is protected in all environments, especially due to the escalated online danger during the Covid-19 pandemic.