Tirana 5 February, 2019- Children are an important part of the solution in addressing online violence, sexual exploitation and abuse. On this Safer Internet Day, Ministry of Education, Sports Youth UNICEF and the National Authority for Electronic Certification and Cyber Security is calling on Government (AKCESK), the ICT sector, parents and teachers to listen to children through direct consultation or research, and to incorporate their thinking into policies, strategies and programmes designed to tackle online child sexual abuse and exploitation.
Over 300 peer educators are committed to raising the awareness and help their classmates on preventing and reporting violent and harmful online situations. We want to encourage and empower young people to get informed, be kinder, and be careful about who they connect with and what they share online. This initiative has been undertaken in some Albanian cities, such as the Kukës, Dibra, Lezha, Fier, Tirana and Elbasan.Internet opens up a world of opportunities for children and young people, but too little is done to protect them from the perils of the digital world. Violence online, including cyberbullying, is a growing global problem, and whether in person or online, bullying is among young people’s top concerns.
With the support of the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth, AKCESK and UNICEF drafted a new manual, tackling online safety topics. This manual is helping children to learn more on cyber bullying, meeting online strangers, sharing personal information online and where they should report dangerous cases. The peer educators will continue to work on training of the 15.000 peers from all around the country about safety internet, its risks and reporting online abuse.
Peer–led interventions are contributing to:
- Raise awareness and provide accurate information about internet safety
- Child-teacher-parent awareness raising on the risks children face when using internet without limits.
- Children are encouraged and supported to share their knowledge with other children on how to protect themselves from Internet threats.
- Coordination of work with other institutions, focused on the education and protecting children from using unsafe Internet.
- Guide children to safe surfing on the Internet and using it for its benefits.
AKCESK, the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth with the support of UNICEF, aim at expanding this initiative at national level, by training the IT teachers, parents and students of 30 schools all over the country.
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UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.