ISIPOL Faculty Webinar Child Exploitation Webinar in Media

19 Jul 2021 - 147 View

The Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, University of Medan Area held a webinar with the theme "Exploitation of Children in Media" on Tuesday, 15 June 2021 using the Zoom and Live Youtube platforms of Medan Area University. This webinar was held related to soap operas that were suspended due to indications of exploiting children. Children's development will be hampered because they consume information that is not appropriate for their age. However, the media actually has a positive influence on children, such as being able to learn English by imitating what they see on television.

Present as speakers were Rony Agustino Siahaan, S.Sos, M.Si from Jakarta Multimedia University, Rita Pranawati, MA Deputy Chair of the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI), Rehia Karenina Isabella Barus, S.Sos, MSP, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, University Terrain Area.


“Since its arrival, the media has actually become a threat. However, in media studies there will always be positive and negative impacts," said Rony Agustino Siahaan, S.Sos, M.Si in the event which was opened by the Rector of the University of Medan Area Prof. Dr. Dadan Ramdan, M.Eng M.Sc and attended by the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. And Political Science, University of Medan Area Dr. Heri Kusmanto, MA.

Rony said that television has several functions for children, such as passive enjoyment, information that they can get without looking for them. In addition, as a utility function, namely to chat with each other, as well as a function to direct their energy to fantasize.

According to him, television is placed socially and culturally in the community to be in the midst of the family. In its broadcast, television is not entirely about shows for children, but also for adults.

“Television was originally produced for children, but it turned out to be not profitable financially. But when television shows are packaged in the form of family needs, it becomes more profitable. Children watch adult shows because their parents like to watch broadcasts such as soap operas,” said Rony.


In terms of child exploitation, according to Rony, it is because parents are easily dazzled by money and fame. So that children lose their privacy space and they are not the decision makers related to him.

"The question is whether exploiting children is the same as employing children?" asked Rony. He then answered by taking the case of the United States, where there is an exception of child labor in the media.

“For art, child labor is an exception to exploitation. So the media cannot be prosecuted by the labor law, but ethically, parents can actually be prosecuted. Unfortunately, in Indonesia, no one has ever sued, so there has never been any jurisprudence on this,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rita Pranawati explained that the number of children in Indonesia is 84 million or one third of the total population. "Every child has the right to get proper information both verbally and in writing in accordance with the stages of the child's age and development," he said while stressing that the so-called children are those under 18 years of age.

According to him, the principles of child protection include non-discrimination, the best interests of children, the right to life and development, and children's participation. "In the Juvenile Criminal Justice System (SPPA) the principle is restorative justice, by not including the name of the perpetrator, the name of the parents and his occupation, the complete home address, the name and address of the school, the face of the perpetrator/victim/witness, and the environment of the child," he explained.

Children also cannot be employed haphazardly. Employers who employ children for light work must fulfill requirements such as written permission and work agreement with parents/guardians, maximum working time is 3 hours, carried out during the day and does not interfere with school time, pay attention to occupational safety and health, and have a clear working relationship, and receive wages in accordance with applicable regulations.

"Health and safety are the keywords, without causing physical and psychological harm," said Rita.


Meanwhile, Rehia Barus emphasized that housewives are information gatekeepers for families. "Housewives are one of the elements of society with the most dominant role in the family," he said.

He explained the use of over-used and under-used by housewives. “The problem is the mother's use of media, she should be a literacy media for her family. But in reality, mothers are over used media, continuously sharing privacy matters in their families," said Rehia.

In over-used media, mothers often do sharing, such as by uploading children's growth and development through social media with the motive of fun, to archive family documents and to share information. “The content that is shared will reveal information about the child so that the child's privacy will be lost. The desire to be praised through sharing will lead to child exploitation because there is a subordinate relationship between parents and children.”

Meanwhile, the phenomenon of under used media occurs in people in rural areas who cannot use gadgets at all. But the children have smartphones and are digitally connected.

“In this case, parents cannot monitor what information their children have consumed. This creates hidden threats in the form of violence and sexual exploitation of both boys and girls, potentially becoming victims of criminals," he said.



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