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Monday 20th of August 2018

Press Room

UNICEF calls for better protection of children in the digital world

Wednesday 7th of February 2018
Juvenile Justice in the world

As part of Safer Internet Day on 6th February, UNICEF called for an urgent adoption of protective measures regarding children and their digital footprint. The children’s rights institution warned about the many hazards they encounter online, including inappropriate content, exploitation and sexual abuse as well as online intimidation and ill-intentioned use of their personal data.

UNICEF estimates that every day more than 175,000 children access the internet for the first time. While governments and the private sector have made important progress in developing policies and strategies to eliminate the most devastating risks, the institution argues that they have not kept up with the pace of change, which has exposed children to new risks and harms.

UNICEF reminds all sectors and actors of the necessity to keep on working in order to understand and protect children’s lives on the Internet, adding that only collective action – by governments, the private sector, children’s organizations, academic institutions, families and children themselves – can help level the digital playing field and make the internet safer and more accessible for children.

UNICEF offers recommendations to help develop more effective policymaking and more responsible business practices for the benefit children. These recommendations seek to:

• Provide all children with affordable access to high-quality online resources.

• Protect children from harm online – including abuse, exploitation, trafficking, cyberbullying and exposure to unsuitable materials.

• Safeguard children’s privacy and identity online, which includes enforcing international norms regarding the gathering and usage of children’s personal data, and teaching children to protect themselves from online invasions of their privacy.

• Teach digital literacy to keep children informed, engaged and safe online.

• Leverage the power of the private sector to advance ethical standards and practices that protect and benefit children online.

• Put children at the centre of digital policy.

These recommendations, as well as additional detailed information, can be found in 'The State of the World’s Children 2017: Children in a Digital World'. This report constitutes UNICEF’s first comprehensive look at the different ways digital technology is affecting children’s lives and life chances, identifying dangers as well as opportunities.  

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