Church, activists seek action on children watching porn

Up to 25,000 Indonesian children access pornography online each day, according to govt statistics  
Church, activists seek action on children watching porn

An Indonesian Muslim woman holds up pictures of half-naked women during an anti-pornography demonstration in Jakarta in this file photo. Indonesian church officials and activists say they are stepping up cooperation to protect children from exposure to pornography. (Photo by Oka Budhi/AFP)

 

Indonesian church officials and activists are stepping up cooperation to protect children from exposure to pornography.

According to government figures, about 25,000 children access online pornography every day in the country.

Holy Family Father Hibertus Hartana, executive secretary of the Indonesian bishops' family commission said online pornography could rob children of important values, such as respect for life and the dignity of others.

"Rape is an example that can be traced back to pornography," Father Hartana said, referring to one incident in Bogor, West Java, when a teenager raped a 36-year-old woman.

According to the priest, it is the task of families and schools to prevent children from accessing pornography. Parents should have an open dialog with them and educate them in faith and morality.

"The problem is that many children do not communicate with their parents. The parents should provide them with sex education so they don't just search on Google," he said.

He said the Indonesian bishops' conference is collaborating with the Ministry of Religious Affairs on how to provide guidance and sex education for children.

Minister of Women and Protection of Indonesian Children, Yohana Yembise, said the high number of Indonesian children accessing online pornography has drawn the government's attention.

"I am shocked that from 50,000 activities related to pornography in Indonesia every day, 25,000 involve children accessing it," she said in a statement.

Maria Advianti, commissioner of the Indonesian Child Protection Commission, said they were also concerned. "Parents must know what children are doing when they are online," she said.

Schools must ensure that smart phones, laptops and other devices are cleaned of pornographic content, she added

Angeline Setiani, a parent, agreed that they play an important role and always checks her children's cell phones when they return from school.

"If I see something strange on their mobiles I delete it," the mother of two said.

She admitted children can easily access pornography through the internet, DVDs, phones or magazines, parents struggle to retain control.

Fransiskus Aditya, a school student, admitted to viewing pornographic videos and photos almost every day sent by friends via his cell phone.

He said he knew watching them was sinful but his friends always send them to him.

"We share photos every day. I look at them secretly because I am afraid about my parents and teachers finding out," he said.

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