Indian Government, Netflix and NGOs come together to deliver a message on online safety

MUMBAI: The office of the Chief Minister Maharashtra, in partnership with the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), a leading global NGO working in the area of online safety organised a forum called “Create, Connect, Respect: Empowering parents and educators to guide connected children and youth,” today 6 August in the city. This event was supported by Unicef India, Netflix and Ficci Arise.   

Bringing together both global and local leaders in the area of online safety, the focus of this event was on how to enable children and youth to benefit from the advantages that the Internet has to offer. At the event the discussions included how to equip youth and their guardians to use online tools and other techniques which ensure that they have a safe and age-appropriate experience online. According to an Alphabeta report, over 80% of Indian VOD consumers found online safety features useful and trustworthy in keeping themselves and their families safe.

In addition to Fosi CEO Stephen Balkam, speakers at this event included Unicef chief child protection officer Javier Aguilar, Netflic MD Asia Pacific Kuek Yu-Chuang, Joint Secretary and OSD to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Kaustubh Dhavse; HoD, Centre for Social Research Amitabh Kumar, director, Aarambh India Initiative Siddharth Pillai and Nishith Desai Associates partner Gowree Gokhale.

Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis sent a supporting message to the audience, saying “India houses the youngest population in the world. The transition of India from an emerging economy to a $5 trillion economy will depend on how well we leverage our demographic dividend. The advent of the fourth industrial revolution entails adequate exposure of the Internet to every last person for a future ready workforce. The industry also contributes by creating tools which enable people to access age-appropriate content.” In her remarks, Smt. Pankaja Munde noted that, “The Government of India is coming up with a lot of new platforms where we can engage in this dialogue. We are working on making vulnerable populations more and more Internet savvy. Connectedness needs to go hand-in-hand with education so that people are empowered to have a safe and productive experience online”

Balkam, said, “Online safety is everyone’s responsibility and everybody has to work together to maintain it. This can best be done through open dialogue with various stakeholders. Today’s forum provides a great platform to exchange ideas and insights on Internet use and learn about local issues and problems. Now more than ever, it is essential to empower young people to be good digital citizens and to “be the change” for a safer and more civil Internet.”  

Yu-Chuang said, “Netflix encourages families to make wise decisions when streaming content from the Internet, including our own service. We are proud of the product features on our service such as PIN parental control that empower our users to make these decisions.”