UNICEF and Government start a campaign on Violence Against Children
Campaign End Violence Online
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PODGORICA, 27 July 2016 – Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Đukanović and UNICEF Montenegro Representative Benjamin Perks announced today the beginning of a new, national campaign on violence against children.
Today, together with the Government of Montenegro, we are starting a campaign that will cover all forms of violence. The first part of the campaign will focus on online violence, which is an emerging concern for all of our communities, families and children. Later in the campaign, we will focus on family and peer violence.
In harmony with the global UNICEF campaign End Violence Online, Montenegrin campaign will focus on violence online during its first phase, until the end of 2016.
As part of this global action and in cooperation with UNICEF Montenegro, we are working together to supress this phenomenon, primarily through building capacities of professionals within the relevant institutions and through raising awareness about the risks and dangers with which young people cope online. It is our goal to provide every child with the digital literacy, which is necessary for living a safe life in the contemporary world.
The youngest ambassadors of this campaign shared theirs and the experiences of their peers about internet through short videos. “We must talk about our online experiences and, in this way, encourage young people, parents and schools to decrease the online risks, as, anyway, we have to use internet every day”, Masa Vusanovic, a high school student from Podgorica, pointed out.
On this occasion, prof. Svetlana Logar, Ipsos Research Director, and Prof. Ida Cortoni, Coordinator of the Media Monitor Observatory at the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, presented the key findings of the research about the online experiences of children and parents in Montenegro.
The research was conducted in May and June 2016 according to the methodology developed by LSE and UNICEF Innocenti.
It shows that every second child (45 per cent) does not feel safe online, while the majority of children (68 per cent) say to know more about the internet than their parents do.
“Children undertake different risky activities related to contacting unknown individuals, and sending them personal data. Children send their photos and pretend to be someone else online. At least one such risky activity per month was undertaken by 48 per cent of children during the last year,” prof. Logar pointed out.
Children use internet the most for fun and socializing on social networks and the least for school assignments. In most cases, children face peer violence online.
“Today, violence is acquiring completely new dimensions. Online violence knows no boundaries. Children can be exposed to violence and harassed 24 hours a day by unknown individuals, strangers and people in their immediate surroundings,” Djukanovic said.
“Every third child who uses internet lives in a family with low parental mediation of internet use. The level of risk to be bothered or upset online is highest when active parental mediation is the lowest” prof. Cortoni pointed out.
Therefore, the research suggests that schools need to be more actively involved in the process of building an inclusive, digital society through raising awareness and digital literacy of children, parents and teachers. Every second child (53%) says to have never used the internet at school and only two percent of them reach out to teachers for help if something unpleasant happens to them online.
The End Violence Online campaign is aimed at opening a public debate about the best ways to support every child to learn how to use internet safely and responsibly, as well as to actively participate in the digital society of 21st century.
Montenegrin campaign is realized within the #WeProtect – a global initiative created by the UK government to tackle online child sexual abuse and exploitation that includes UNICEF’s programme to address the issue in 17 countries.