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Safer Internet Day

Posted on Jan 24, 2019

We already told you about the conference that was held in December in Rome and was dedicated to different forms of dependencies. Among other things, it brought to our attention the negative and even destructive influence that the Internet can have on the lives of people, particularly the most vulnerable groups, like children and teenagers. Here is the position of Unicef on the matter. It was published on the occasion of the Safer Internet Day, which was held 30 years after the signing of the Declaration Children’s rights by the UN. Here is an extract from the Unicef Kazakhstan website: (https://www.unicef.org/kazakhstan)
Violence in the Internet, including cyber bullying, is a growing international problem. Digital access provides children with many opportunities and advantages. But it also puts them at risk and may bring them harm, including access to harmful content, sexual exploitation and abuse, cyber bullying and illegal usage of their personal data. In September 2018 Unicef carried out a global survey of teenagers about violence in schools and around them. Circa 1 billion young people in 160 countries of the world took part in the survey. “As much as 70.6% young users of the net from 15 to 24 years old can be subjected to cyber bullying, stalking and other dangers, related to violence in the Internet” – states the Unicef report.
24 000 participants recommended what they and their parents, teachers and decision-makers could do to ensure their safety and use kindness as a remedy against abuse and cyber bullying. On the Safer Internet Day Unicef follows the lead of young people and encourages you to be kind and understanding on the Internet. It’s important to remember that we shouldn’t ignore even the slightest expression of bullying, because everybody’s contribution is needed to understand the situation and it can be done only if we focus our attention on it at the right moment and comply with ethical standards.

In the past, when children cried, parents let them watch cartoons on TV to distract them while they were busy doing something else. Now, if a child is crying or acts up, mothers usually give them their phones to calm them down (the same thing happens to many children with Down syndrome who we meet within our project). So what happens is children, who can’t talk or walk yet, learn to use phones and tablets very skillfully. But beyond these screens harmful content can be hiding and we, adults, cannot hand over the responsibility for our future generation’s upbringing to the Internet.

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