November 13: National Day to Fight Grooming

The National Day to Fight Grooming was established to remember the sanction of Law 26904, which in 2013 incorporated this crime into the Argentine Penal Code, with prison sentences ranging from six months to four years. In 2022 the National Grooming Prevention and Awareness Program – Click Rights to build tools for your prevention through the promotion of digital citizenship of girls and boys.

He Grooming It is contact with a girl, boy or adolescent through digital media with the purpose of attacking their sexual integrity.. It is a form of sexual abuse that occurs entirely in digital environments, and constitutes a crime, even when there is no physical encounter. For example, when someone sends or requests material with erotic or sexual content from a boy or girl in any format, through instant messaging, social networks, video game platforms or live broadcasts, among other means, it is considered grooming.

The national Secretariat for Children, Adolescents and Family (SENAF) of the Ministry of Social Development of the Nation is the enforcement authority of the law 27590 Mica Ortega, by which the Rights Click program is created. Since its launch, The Ministry works through the SENAF together with other national organizations, such as the Ministry of Justice and Education of the Nation, and also with the 24 provincial representatives who were appointed by the childhood areas of each jurisdiction of the country, to train and develop joint actions to respond to situations of online abusewhile promoting the safe and responsible use of new technologies.

Digital environments are fundamental spaces for children and adolescents, because there they exercise many of their rights. At Clic Rights we work from the focus of promoting digital citizenship and understand that the prevention of grooming and other forms of digital violence is a responsibility of the State, within the framework of guaranteeing the rights of girls, boys and adolescents and that they can enjoy digital technologies in a safe, inclusive, meaningful and participatory way

Paula Chinellato

Then, he added: “To prevent violence on the internet, adults have to get involved and accompany girls and boys in the use of screens, with empathy, without blaming or demonizing, and this is a new path that we are building from childhood areas throughout the country.”

In September of this year, in order to continue advancing in attentive listening to girls and boys, SENAF conducted a survey on this topic among one hundred adolescents who participated in regional meetings in the provinces of Entre Ríos, La Rioja, Misiones and Santiago del Estero. To find out their opinions, we asked them about their digital practices and their knowledge regarding grooming and other violence in the virtual environment. Among the results, the connectivity conditions with which they access the Internet stand out: 94% of them and they respond that they connect from home and from school, 39%.

Those who responded that they do it at the home of family/friends were 27%, and in a lower percentage, on the street, in the square (18%), or in digital points (13%). At the same time, Almost 70 young people said they are concerned about grooming and 50 said they take measures to prevent it.

In this sense, Through the national Clic Rights program, the National State has been developing various training, awareness, promotion and protection actions, in coordination with provincial jurisdictions and other actors involved in the issue.. Within the framework of the Federal Council for Children, Adolescents and Family, each province designated a grooming reference in order to advance in the articulation and development of the strategic lines defined within the framework of the Clic Rights program. In the last year 18 training and workshops were held in which more than 1,000 agents of the system for the protection of the rights of children and adolescents and more than 700 adolescents and young people participated.. This task is maintained continuously with the jurisdictions and this week the program will offer the workshop to the technical children’s teams of the province of Santiago del Estero.

In turn, awareness-raising materials and guidance and support guides were produced for families and people responsible for caring for girls, boys and adolescents, which can be accessed in the materials section of the official website on grooming. On the other hand, this year a mapping of actors, services and care circuits was built in the 24 jurisdictions of the country, with the support of UNICEF and the Faro Digital Civil Association.

Another of the initiatives included in the National Program is a participation and communication strategy between peers where adolescents are protagonists, raising their voices to talk about online violence and the promotion of digital citizenship. To this end, in coordination with UNICEF and Faro Digital, the contest “Rap Digital”, whose winners of the last edition were recently announced. Through the expressions of rap and urban culture, adolescents dialogue and learn, while communicating to their peers about taking care of the risks that can occur on digital platforms.

Recommendations to prevent grooming

From the national Click Rights program Families and people with care responsibilities for girls and boys are recommended to talk on a daily basis and with empathy about virtual experiences and the risks they may face on screens.. It is very relevant to be able to reflect together on the importance of privacy and the protection of personal information, as well as promote a critical and reflective view of Internet use, without them feeling censorship, but protection. Incorporating self-care guidelines in relation to your privacy, understanding the boundaries of the intimate, the private and the public, as well as knowledge about your rights are key aspects to develop protective factors against online risks. Although these topics are included in the contents of Comprehensive Sexual Education (ESI), their inclusion and approach is still a challenge.

In addition, it is remembered that throughout the country there is Line 102 for girls and boys, which also provides guidance and advice on this issue. Girls and boys or anyone who wants to consult or has knowledge or suspicion of a violation of the rights of girls, boys and adolescents in both analog and digital environments can call directly there.

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