Safer Internet Day: UNICEF calls for end to cyber bullying
The United Nations children's agency has called for concerted efforts to curb cyber bullying, which it says affects 70.6 per cent of young people aged 15 to 24 years old who are online globally.
UNICEF made the plea on Tuesday, which is the day the world celebrates Safer Internet Day to root for safe internet use globally.
“We've heard from children and young people from around the globe and what they are saying is clear: The Internet has become a kindness desert,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “That's why this Safer Internet Day, UNICEF is inviting everyone, young and old, to be kind online, and calling for greater action to make the Internet a safer place for everyone.”
The internet has become more accessible to people across all ages, gender and classes, owing to the availability of affordable digital devices.
According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), 94 per cent of young people aged 15-24 in developed countries are online, with more than 65 per cent of young people in developing countries also online. This is well ahead of the pace of Internet usage among the general population. Worldwide, half of the total population, regardless of age, is online.
UNICEF warns that cyberbullying can cause profound harm as it can quickly reach a wide audience, and can remain accessible online indefinitely, virtually ‘following' its victims online for life.
Fore urged governments, families, educations players and the private sector to “put children and young people at the centre of digital policies.”
“By protecting them from the worst the Internet has to offer and expanding access to its best, we can each help tip the balance for good,” she said.