UNICEF Releases Report On Digital Access And Safety For Children

City Lights: Events

Bhubaneswar, December 11: Making an attempt to apprise the authorities and concerned agencies about the hazards of the digital world and its impact on young users, UNICEF released its annual flagship report ‘The State of the World’s Children 2017: Children in a Digital World’ in the city, today. The report was released by Prafulla Samal, Minister W&CD, SSEPD, MSME and Mission Shakti, Nikhil Kumar Kanodia, IPS, DIG of Police, CID CB, Odisha (IG Crimes) and Yumi Bae, Chief, UNICEF Odisha in the presence of 45 adolescents and youth from different organisations and institutions in the city.

In ‘The State of the World’s Children 2017: Children in a Digital World’, UNICEF provides a comprehensive look at the different ways in which digital technology is affecting children’s lives and life chances, meanwhile identifying dangers as well as opportunities. The report argues that governments and the private sector have lagged behind in keeping up with the pace of change in the digital world that exposes children to new risks and harms, leaving millions of disadvantaged children behind. 

While the report explored the benefits that digital technology can offer to all children, especially the most disadvantaged, it also examined how the internet increases children’s vulnerability to risks and harms. The release of the report was followed by a moderated discussion between the young members of the gathering with the invited dignitaries where the issues raised by them were experiential and wide ranging as the findings of the report.

Interacting with the youth and children, Yumi Bae said, “Despite children and young people’s massive online presence – 1 in 3 internet users in the world is a child. Too little is done to protect them from the perils of the digital world and to increase their access to safe content online. Governments, private sector, communities, and media need to come together to provide equitable and quality access while ensuring that the rights of all children are protected as they navigate the online space, very often unsupervised and alone.”The release event was preceded by a half-day workshop with the 45 participants to discuss current issues around access and benefits of the internet and risks they are susceptible to online.