UNICEF India, Facebook to create safe online environment for children
(Sourced from PTI)
UNICEF India and Facebook on Monday launched a one-year joint initiative to end violence against children with a special focus on online safety. In a statement, UNICEF said the partnership seeks to create a safe environment for children online and offline. It aims to improve children's resilience and capacity to access the digital world safely.
The partnership also aims to increase awareness on violence against children and its impact on children, families, and communities, as well as enhance the skills of communities and frontline workers to better prevent and respond to violence. The partnership will include a nationwide social media campaign and capacity building for 1,00,000 schoolchildren on online safety, digital literacy, and psychosocial support, it said.
The virtual launch of the initiative was attended by Joint Secretary of Ministry of Women and Child Development Aastha Saxena Khatwani, Facebook Head of Programs and Outreach Madhu Sirohi, and UNICEF India Deputy Representative Programs Yasumasa Kimura. Khatwani said, "In the last year and a half, the internet has enabled children to continue with their education, removing the barriers of time and geography."
"As we encourage our children to explore the great knowledge resource that is available online, we should be cognizant of all the threats that come along with the all-pervasive nature of these online mediums," she further said. Kimura said, "The COVID-19 pandemic has increased chances for our children to face violence whether online or offline."
"Acknowledging the significant efforts being made to end violence against children, it's important that different stakeholders come together, to increase awareness, change behaviors and perceptions around how, when and where violence against children occurs," Kimura said. "This is critical to promote better understanding the violence and most effective ways to ensure child safety both online and offline," he said.
Sirohi said, "The pandemic has spurred the adoption of digital platforms. Being online gives young people so many choices. It gives them skills such as self-control and resilience that can help them make decisions that will lead to positive outcomes both online and offline."