The Digital Lives of Kazakhstani Children: Challenges and Opportunities

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Education have concluded a joint study on the digital lives of children

28 December 2023
Kazakhstan kids online
UNICEFKazakhstan/2023/ArmanMustafin

 

Astana, 20 December 2023 – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Education have concluded a joint study on the digital lives of children called ‘Kazakhstan Kids Online.’

The study, undertaken in 2023 with support from Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, aimed to uncover opportunities and risks related to children’s internet use and develop strategies to minimise identified risks and support children in the digital environment.

Many social networking and gaming platforms prevent minors under the age of 13 from having their own accounts. However, findings indicated that 60 per cent of children ages 9 and 10 and 66 per cent of children ages 11 and 12 have their own accounts on social networks and gaming platforms.

“We must continue to improve children’s digital safety skills as well as raise parental awareness about their role in keeping children safe and ensuring age-appropriate=. We will run a large-scale campaign to connect parents with apps that provide parental controls. We feel that parents, teachers, ICT industry professionals, and the media all play significant roles in promoting child-safe internet use,” said Nassymzhan Ospanova, Chairperson of the Committee for the Protection of Children’s Rights at the Ministry of Education.

The Kazakhstan Kids Online study is a one-of-a-kind endeavour to gain a comprehensive understanding of Kazakhstani children’s digital lives. The study, which used a comprehensive methodology, was carried out through a survey of children, adults, and teachers from all regions of Kazakhstan.

“The results of this study give us a comprehensive understanding of the digital lives of children in Kazakhstan. We hope that the recommendations will serve as the basis for developing a comprehensive plan to improve children’s and parents’ internet literacy. Results will also be used to support the development of digital learning, communication, collaboration, and children’s internet security products to protect children from possible online risks,” noted Tatiana Aderikhina, acting UNICEF Representative in Kazakhstan.

This is Kazakhstan’s first study, based on the Global Kids Online (GKO) international project, which investigates children’s interactions with the online environment. It emphasises the necessity of maintaining children’s safety in the digital environment and promotes recommendations provided by such human rights documents as the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The study’s findings emphasise the necessity of ensuring children’s online safety as well as training parents and teachers on effective ways to support children in the digital world.

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More information regarding UNICEF’s activities can be found at www.unicef.org.

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