The United Nations has called for the creation of child-friendly channels to allow children seek advice on self-generated sexually-explicit content.
This was contained in a recent report by the Center for Family and Human Rights, a right-wing advocacy group.
According to C-Fam, the UN made the call in its ‘General Comment No. 25’ issued by its Committee on the Rights of the Child.
It said the General Comment would tell governments, businesses and, more importantly, parents how to apply children’s rights when it comes to the internet.
“Child-friendly channels should be created to allow children to seek advice and assistance where it relates to self-generated sexually explicit content,” C-Fam quoted the UN committee to have said. “Sexting can be illegal when done by children, and the committee wants it made legal.”
The right-wing advocacy group explained that the committee dealt with what is now commonly called “sexting,” where people, including children, send sexually explicit pictures to friends and even strangers through the internet.
C-Fam noted that the UN defined “reproductive health services” to include abortion.
It said the drafters of the document were concerned that children would likely come across harmful information online.
“One of the subjects that parents may find most alarming is that children have the “right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, using any media of their choice.
“Most parents would likely object to this notion that children have a right to information of ‘all kinds’ from any source. Keep in mind that the general comments issued by such treaty-monitoring bodies have no force in law; they are not even enforceable suggestions. But they will be accepted by governments and businesses as legal norms they must impose on parents and their children,” the group stated.
It further stated that the committee, in preparing the document, asked some children to inform them of their views.
It quoted the committee as saying that these “children reported they valued searching online for information and support relating to health and well-being, including on physical, mental and sexual and reproductive health, puberty, sexuality and conception.”
It added that the drafters went on to say, “Adolescents, especially, wanted access to free, confidential, age-appropriate and non-discriminatory mental health as well as sexual and reproductive health services online.”
The Committee on the Rights of the Child is the committee of “experts” appointed by UN member states to suggest to signatory countries how to implement the underlying treaty, in this case, the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
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