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"Virtual Touch" Education for Minors

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"Virtual Touch" Education for Minors
By Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma
Posted: 2024-06-06T13:33:29Z


Download full judgement here.


The Delhi High Court has highlighted the necessity for minors to be educated about "virtual touch" in addition to the traditional concepts of "good touch" and "bad touch," suggesting that this emerging concept should be included in their curriculum.

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma emphasized that minors need to be equipped with the knowledge and tools to safely navigate online interactions and recognize potential risks in cyberspace.

Traditionally, efforts to protect minors have focused on teaching them about 'good touch' and 'bad touch' in the physical world. However, in today's digital age, it is essential to expand this education to include the concept of 'virtual touch.'

The court stressed the urgency of communicating this need to relevant stakeholders, including schools, colleges, the Delhi State Legal Services Authority, and the Delhi Judicial Academy. The court called for programs, workshops, and conferences that address both traditional concepts of 'good touch' and 'bad touch' as well as the emerging concept of 'virtual touch' and its potential dangers.

The court had noted that the minor was allegedly kidnapped by the accused, who she met on a social media application, was kept in a room and was sexually assaulted for around 20 to 25 days.

Therefore, the court emphasized that stakeholders should incorporate education about virtual touch and its repercussions into their curricula, alongside teachings on good touch and bad touch.

While adjudicating this case, the court noted that in today's digital age, where virtual interactions among teenagers are common, minors are not adequately prepared to handle the potential dangers of human trafficking and other cybercrimes.

The court added that educating minors about 'virtual touch' involves teaching them about appropriate online behavior, recognizing signs of predatory behavior, and understanding the importance of privacy settings and online boundaries.

Just as children are taught to exercise caution in the physical world, efforts must be made to develop their critical thinking skills to evaluate the credibility of online contacts and protect their personal information.