Child Rights International (CRI), a non-governmental organisation concerned with the welfare of children, has condemned the act of dehumanising children through mockery on social media.
The group said filming children who were unable to read or recite the pledge or national anthem or recording videos of children who were being encouraged to use profane words or engage in sexual activities and posting them on social media platforms were unlawful.
At a press conference as part of the organisation’s child protection accountability series, the Executive Director of CRI, Mr Bright Appiah, said the mockery videos affected the confidence of the children, as well as their developmental stages classified as formative and recognition.
There have been trends of videos of children who either could not read in class or recite the national anthem or pledge circulating on social media platforms.
Two persons were recently arrested by the police for allegedly publishing nude pictures and videos of a 14-year-old girl on Instagram, a social media platform.
“Filming children and mocking them could subject the child to teasing and bullying in the course of their education; it could make the child withdraw and refuse to share his ideas or opinions and even worse. Ridiculing children’s vulnerability is an affront to their right to privacy,” he said.
Beyond undermining the children’s right, he noted that the act, which was mostly done by teachers, was a criminal one.
“The right of children to an identity, privacy and dignity is core in the promotion of children’s rights. In view of that, an attempt that derails the existence of these fundamental human rights affects the well-being of children,” he stated.
Mr Appiah, therefore, called on the Ghana Police Service (GPS) to conduct investigations into such videos in order to bring the perpetrators to book.
He also urged the National Communications Authority (NCA) to put in place measures to limit the extent to which the public had access to such information which mocked children.
While urging teachers to be mindful of the information they shared about children, he also advised that parents should take interest in the kind of information their children accessed on social media in order to safeguard them from negative influence.
“The general public must desist from filming children with the intention of mocking them and putting it on social media,” he advised.