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.

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

Collective action by governments, private sector, children’s organizations and families can help in making the digital world safer and accessible for children. Policies should be framed to protect children from harm including abuse, exploitation, trafficking, cyberbullying, etc. Children should be provided with affordable access to high-quality online resources.

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