UNICEF launches studies on youth online behaviour, safety in Turkey, Russia, Ukraine
GENEVA, 17 November, 2011 — UNICEF today launched three exploratory studies which analyze the access and behaviour of young people online and highlight the safety risks they face in these countries with fast growing digital communities.
The UN body urges young people, families and governments to maximize the use of Internet Communication Technologies (ICTs) while minimizing risks such as meeting strangers they connect with on line in real life without adult supervision, sharing personal information online and also cyber bullying. The appeal is part of UNICEF`s mandate to advocate for children`s rights to express themselves and to seek and receive information. Although the Convention of the Rights of the Child was declared on 20 November 1989 - before the Internet became widely used - it is highly pertinent when it comes to young people accessing, posting and sharing content online.
The launch comes prior to a national children forum and policy makers conference on 21-22 November to discuss the Turkish study findings in Ankara. Both groups will present their recommendations on 23 November to the national parliament where the Speaker Cemil Cicek are scheduled to attend.
(Download the full report by clicking on the title). Among the main findings are:
"Young people in this region are quick and eager to adopt new technologies. They are enjoying a phenomenal rise in ICT access but have meager understanding of its safe and optimal use. We need to ensure their right to be protected while having full access to new means of communication and information sharing," said Kirsi Madi, Deputy Regional Director of UNICEF Regional Office for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
All three studies are based on reliable Turkish, Russian, Ukrainian and international research which have been validated by national academics, government and industry representatives at UNICEF-supported workshops in Moscow, Kiev and Ankara. Researchers have further identified a need to generate primary data to analyze online access and behaviour of vulnerable children in poorer rural areas and in institutions.
The work is part of a global Digital Citizenship and Safety Project to better understand and address the impact of ICTs on the lifestyle of children and young people in developing countries. The project also aims to raise awareness among the public and advocate to policy makers on how to minimize ICTs risks while maximizing on its opportunities.
For more information please contact: UNICEF CEECIS Regional Office John Budd, Regional Communication Chief +41 909 5429 and Lely Djuhari, Communication Specialist + 41 909 5433 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org Download here for all the reports and powerpoint presentations of main findings.
What we do
Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society and UNICEF are in the beginning phases of a collaborative research project concerning the online safety risks to children in developing countries.
Forthcoming report: Protection of children from violence, sexual abuse and exploitation in the online and offline environments