Young Parliamentarians have resolved that the concept of Cyber Warfare be clearly defined to encompass cyber-crime, cyber violence and cyber bullying.
The Forum of Young Parliamentarians was meeting in Hanoi, Viet Nam last week on the fringes of the 132nd Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly.
Addressing the Forum, Ugandan representative, Hon. Kiyingi Bbosa (MP for Mawokota County South) highlighted the risk that young people faced as they embraced new technologies.
“Considering that many young people are using the social media platforms and the internet, they have become victims especially when their information and data is exploited,” he said.
The Forum was in agreement that Young people’s contributions to efforts to tackle cyber-warfare would be crucial since the youth are prominent users of cyberspace and therefore often vulnerable to cyber warfare related activities and other forms of cybercrime, bullying and violence.
Bbosa advocated for greater stakeholder involvement in the protection of youth.
“Parliaments and governments need to give young people due attention to safeguard the present and future generation,” he said.
The discussions were focussed on the Forum’s contribution to the work of the IPU, in particular that of the Standing Committee on Peace and International Security, which adopted a resolution entitled Cyber warfare; a serious threat to peace and global security.
The Forum recognised that young people could innocently become trapped in cybercrime, due to underestimating the gravity of certain activities.
They cited for instance that some youth considered hacking to be a game.
Participants noted that young people’s misuse of cyberspace was often the result of a lack of purpose in their lives, marginalisation and unemployment.
It was therefore essential that children, young people and their parents be educated on the potential dangers of cyber space.
They agreed however, that while tackling this situation, freedom of expression and civil liberties must be respected.
The members noted that the proposal by the IPU Assembly to discuss terrorism as an emergency item was relevant from the perspective of young people, who were often the target of terrorist groups, either as recruits or victims.
As such, young people were urged to be part of the solution.
The Forum of Young Parliamentarians is a permanent body of the IPU dedicated to enhancing the quantitative and qualitative participation of youth in parliaments and in the IPU.