• Thursday, Nov 15, 2018
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Unicef, Facebook join forces to make digital world safer for children

  • Published at 01:11 am March 31st, 2018
Unicef, Facebook join forces to make digital world safer for children
Despite the massive presence of children online, too little is done to protect them from the perils of the digital world and to increase their access to safe online content, Unicef said on Friday. To that end, Unicef and Facebook launched a year-long mass awareness campaign on the day. More than 10,000 students from over a hundred schools, as well as teachers, parents, key policy makers, industry leaders, and 2 million online visitors actively participated in the event at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Novo Theatre. State Minister of the ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak attended the launching event as the chief guest, while Minister of Science and Technology Architect Yeafesh Osman attended the closing ceremony. "The internet was designed for adults, but it is increasingly used by children and young people, and digital technology often affects their lives and futures. So, digital policies, practices, and products should better reflect children's needs, perspectives and voices," said Unicef Bangladesh Representative Edouard Beigbeder. According to the report “State of the World's Children 2017: Children in a digital world,” a lack of adequate knowledge about proper internet use increases children's vulnerability to risk and harm, including misuse of their private information, access to harmful content, and cyberbullying. The ubiquitous presence of mobile devices, the report notes, has made online access for many children less supervised and potentially more dangerous. "Children are increasingly spending more time online at younger and younger ages, and it's important to teach them to how protect themselves online and remain safe. Online safety, today, is a critical and important conversation and between parents and kids, teachers and students,” said Ritesh Mehta, Facebook head of programs for India and South Asia. “With this partnership, we want to encourage conversations about safety and technology early and often, in the same way we talk about being safe in public places or while playing or at school," he added. The recent collaboration between Unicef and Facebook to promote online safety for children intends to help guide more effective policymaking and more responsible business practices to benefit children. Measures to be taken under the partnership include the provision of access to high-quality online resources for children, as well as means to prevent abuse, exploitation, trafficking, cyberbullying and exposure to unsuitable materials. The year-long campaign aims to reach a total 25 million Bangladeshi children along with their parents and teachers.