© UNICEF Malaysia/2006/Nadchatram
Digital Citizenship and Safety
UNICEF upholds the rights of adolescents and youth to access information online, to express themselves and interact with others on social platforms. We are participating in the Digital Citizenship and Safety initiative by NYHQ to build evidence and raise awareness among young people on optimal and safe use of ICTs while recommending policy reforms. In partnership with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, this initiative has three steps: data collection and research; evidence-based communication materials; and policy advocacy and recommendations at the government level.
Given the importance of digital communication in an upper-middle income country like Malaysia, UNICEF is using social media channels (Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest) to inform, connect and engage young people on issues that affect their lives, including bullying, discrimination, teen pregnancies and child marriage.
We also use Twitter - the second largest social media tool in the country - to engage with netizens on issues affecting children and young people. These include a Tweetchat with The Star's R.AGE (leading English daily's Youth program), while collaboration with YouthAsia and Nuffnang had some 3,000 bloggers and Tweeples viral MCO messages on adolescence and non-discrimination.
The #MYTeenLove tweetchat real time discussion with youth, parents, policymakers, educators on teenage relationships was a subject chosen by the adolescents themselves, as an area of concern given widely reported cases of baby dumping and teenage pregnancies. #MYTeenLove generated 1,378 Tweets, creating 10,665,399 impressions and reaching an audience of 1,026,199 followers. The hashtag ranked 5th on Malaysia's Twitter trending topics on 18 November 2012.
Get on Board – Unite Against Abuse
UNICEF's Get on Board digital campaign against child abuse seeks to empower the public to take action at the individual and community levels to protect children from abuse. It was carried out with a broad coalition of partners in government, the corporate sector, civil society organisations and individuals. Visit http://www.uniteagainstabuse.my
Media engagement, dialogue, networking and cross sector collaborations are some strategies used to inform and empower citizens to become child advocates. UNICEF also collaborates with the Malaysian Press Institute to organize seminars and workshops for editors and reporters on issues relating to children's rights.