Jakarta, IO – The Safe Internet Day is commemorated to ensure that children can access the internet for education, entertainment and socializing safely and fairly, without having to fear online predators. It is one of the ways to raise awareness of the need to protect the younger generation from all kinds of online violence.
“Online spaces should be safer for children,” we all say. But in fact, at least 750,000 persons a second at anytime, anywhere in the world, seek to connect with children online in order to have sex with them. More than 200,000 children a second are online for the first time in history, with 800 million children in Asia alone actively using online platforms for social purposes across the world. Asian children are the most online-engaged population in the world.
A recent Indonesian study co n cern in g online sexual harassment of children shows that 92% of children 12-17 years old routinely use the internet. A survey concerning online bullying, exploitation, and sexual harassment of 1,610 High School and college students in four provinces show that 6 out of 10 young children suffered from online bullying in the past three months alone. Both boys and girls have a risk of becoming victims of online violence, but of course it affects girls much worse.
“The number of children and teens who suffer from online bullying in Indonesia is simply mind-boggling. Sexual exploitation and harassment of children online affect their mental and physical health greatly. By launching the ‘Web Safe and Wise’ campaign in Indonesia, we are targeting the grave issue of online bullying and victimizing, and we train children and teens so they can navigate their way online safely,” declared Hanneke Oudkerk, ChildFund Indonesia Country Director, in the “ChildFund for Safer Internet” webinar on Tuesday (07/02/2023).
Rapid expansion of digital technology causes children to become more vulnerable of online threats to their safety and security. We need multi-sector collaboration to at least fight and reduce online sexual exploitation and harassment of children. “The ‘Web Safe and Wise’ campaign expands the scope of our work: we are making online spaces safer for children, mitigating the risks that they face in their digital environment, while empowering children and teens so that they became smart, effective digital citizens,” Hanneke said.
The webinar was attended by more than 100 participants from all parts of Indonesia, across the national development spectrum. With the support of its partner organizations, ChildFund continues its efforts to ensure that online spaces become safer for children. (est)