Ashort video posted on the Web site YouTube showing a toddler smoking and using foul language has horrified child advocates, who said the people responsible for it could face criminal charges.
“This is a serious violation as we can see there is a process of letting a child smoke,” Seto Mulyadi, the chairman of the National Commission for Child Protection (Komnas Anak), told the Jakarta Globe on Wednesday. “It means that adults surrounding the child cannot protect him and he is harmed psychologically and physiologically.”
In the three-and-a-half minute video, which was posted on Sunday, the boy, Sandy, who appeared to be no older than four years of age, repeatedly inhaled deeply from a large clove cigarette and blew smoke rings while answering questions posed by adults in Javanese.
Sandy answered the questions with explicit language. He said he wanted to be a thief when he grew up and would spend his money on prostitutes at Dolly, an infamous prostitution complex in Surabaya.
When he was asked what was the best thing in the world, he said “vaginas.” The adults then asked him to demonstrate intercourse, to which the child responded by thrusting his hips.
“There should be an immediate psychological and medical treatment for the little boy as it will disturb his development. He cannot be like this,” Seto said.
The person who uploaded the video on YouTube did not mention the location where the video was taken. However, the dialect sounded similar to that spoken by people in East Java.
Seto said the people who posted the video could be charged under the 2002 Law on Children Protection.
“If the person sold the video and then gained money, he or she could be punished with 10 years in jail,” he said.
Eddy Iksan, of the Pusaka Indonesia Foundation, which is a member of the Indonesian Children Protection Commission (KPAI), said police should start an investigation because Sandy was clearly being abused.
“Teaching a toddler to smoke and speak foul language is an abuse of the child’s right for a stable environment and a good education,” Eddy said.