Digital citizenship and safety
UNICEF`s work in digital citizenship and online safety aims to get a better understanding of the digital landscape in a range of different countries, mainly those with a developing or emerging economy.
Young people`s access and behaviour online in this region is a crucial area for study. Internet penetration and access is rising while the understanding of risks is low.
The project starts with a data collection phase, during which exploratory, quantitative and qualitative studies are conducted to then produce evidence-based communication materials to raise awareness on the optimal and safe use of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
The concept of Digital Citizenship is then advocated at the government level through advocacy workshops, seminars and conferences on how to maximize ICTs‘ opportunities while minimizing risks.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child guarantees the right to express views and to be heard (Article 12), freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive and impart information (Article 13), the freedom of association and peacefully assembly, and the right to information (Article 17) amongst others. Although drafted in 1989 before the internet became ubiquitous, the convention is highly pertinent when it comes to young people accessing, posting and sharing content online. With the rapid development of ICTs in the last two decades, these rights should be analyzed and clearly applied to this digital age.
Exploratory studies in Russia, Ukraine and Turkey has been launched on 17 November. Click here to read more. We will also update you on exciting development to get young people in this region to understand and address the impact that new technologies have on their life.
Turkey has followed up with hosting a Children`s Forum and a Policymakers Conference on 21-22 November. Children, academics, activists, government officials and legislators met to discuss the issue which has generated much public attention in one of the world`s fastest growing online communities. Both groups came together to presented their findings on 23 November at the national parliament to the the Parliament Speaker and Minister of Family and Social Policy. Click here to read more.
What we do
The Child Safety Online study primarily addresses two issues: child sex abuse recorded in images; and the grooming of young people for sex. A third issue, cyberbullying, emerging from much research as an issue of particular significance to children.
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.