Make the digital world safer for children: UNICEF

Dec 12, 2017 16:20 IST
Make the digital world safer for children: UNICEF

The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on 11 December 2017 pointed out that despite massive online presence of children, a very little is done to protect them from the threats of the digital world.

In its report titled  'State of the World’s Children 2017: Children in a Digital World', UNICEF stated that 1 in every 3 internet users worldwide is a child and optimum efforts should be made to ensure that children have access to safe online content.

Highlights of the State of the World’s Children 2017 Report

• It presents UNICEF’s outlook at the different ways in which digital technology is affecting children’s lives and life chances. 

• It points out that organisations, be it public or private, have exposed children to new risks and harms of the digital world including misuse of their private information and access to harmful content.

• It also explores the benefits that digital technology can offer to the most disadvantaged children growing up in poverty or affected by humanitarian emergencies.

• It calls for increasing children's access to information, building their skills for the digital workplace and giving them a platform to connect and communicate their views.

• Around one third of the world’s youth that is 346 million people are not online, reducing children’s ability to participate in an increasingly digital economy.

• Mobile devices have made online access for many children less supervised and more dangerous.

• Online platforms like the Dark Web and cryptocurrencies are promoting the worst forms of exploitation including trafficking and online child sexual abuse.

• Young people are the most connected age group. Worldwide, 71 per cent of young people are online.

• Roughly, 56 per cent of all websites are in English and many children cannot find relevant and understandable content.  

• The identified child sexual abuse URLs are majorly hosted in five countries – Canada, France, the Netherlands, the Russian Federation and the United States.

Universal Children's Day 2017 observed across the world

Suggestions as per State of the World’s Children 2017 Report
• Collective action by governments, private sector, children’s organizations and families can help in making the digital world safer and accessible for children.

• Children should be provided with affordable access to high-quality online resources.

• Policies should be framed to protect children from harm including abuse, exploitation, trafficking, cyberbullying, etc.

• Digital literacy should be taught to children to keep them well informed, engaged and protected online.

UNICEF released the State of the World's Children 2016 Report

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