In Ukraine, 93.1 per cent of girls aged between 15 and 24 years old are online, compared to 87.3 per cent of boys of the same age. Globally, 70.6 per cent of the world’s young people between 15 and 24 are online*.
The online population in Ukraine is getting younger with 50.2 per cent of children under 15 years old online*. While older students may be more exposed to cyberbullying than younger ones, children are not immune from harmful content, sexual exploitation and abuse, and cyberbullying.
According to Ukrainian U-Report survey, 26% of young people aged 15-24 communicate with strangers on personal topics on the Internet, and about a third of surveyed of the same age admitted that their personal information was shared on the Internet without their consent (photo, videos, posts).
According to data from UNESCO on the prevalence of cyberbullying in high-income countries, the proportion of children and adolescents who are affected by cyberbullying range from 5 to 21 per cent, with girls appearing to be more likely to experience cyberbullying than boys.
«During recent UNICEF poll of young people, which received more than 1 million responses over five weeks from more than 160 countries, and series of student-led #ENDviolence Youth Talks held around the world, we’ve heard from children and young people what they and their parents, teachers and policymakers could do to keep them safe. And kindness stood out as one of the most powerful means to prevent bullying and cyberbullying. What they are saying is clear: The Internet has become a kindness desert, » said Laura Bill, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Ukraine. «That’s why this Safer Internet Day, UNICEF is following young people’s lead and inviting everyone to be kind online and calling for greater action to make the Internet a safer place for everyone. »
Cyberbullying can cause profound harm as it can quickly reach a wide audience, and can remain accessible online indefinitely, virtually ‘following’ its victims online for life. Bullying and cyberbullying feed into each other, forming a continuum of damaging behaviour. Victims of cyberbullying are more likely to use alcohol and drugs and skip school than other students. They also are more likely to receive poor grades and experience low self-esteem and health problems. In extreme situations, cyberbullying has led to suicide.
* Data about Internet penetration among children and young people come from the ITU ICT Facts and Figures 2017, which features end-2017 estimates for key telecommunication/ICT indicators.
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.