Bhutan Marks ‘Safer Internet Day’ for Children

Email

To help promote the positive usage of the Internet, Bhutan joined the global community to mark ‘Safer Internet Day”. The United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) Bhutan urged children and young people in the country to use the internet safely.

Bhutan Marks ‘Safer Internet Day’ for Children. (Source: http://thebhutanese.bt)

 

With the evolution of gadgets like smart phones and tablets, internet accessibility is just a tap of the finger for children and youth. But there is risk of exposing children to inappropriate content and cyber bullying.

To help promote the positive usage of the Internet, Bhutan joined the global community to mark ‘Safer Internet Day”. The United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) Bhutan urged children and young people in the country to use the internet safely.

UNICEF outlines the pros and cons of the internet for children

Today, more than 175,000 children go online for the first time every day – a new child every half second – according to UNICEF. Digital access exposes these children to a wealth of benefits and opportunities, but also to a host of risks and harms, including access to harmful content, sexual exploitation and abuse, cyber-bullying, and misuse of their private information, the children’s agency warned.

“Every day, thousands of children are going online for the first time, which opens them up to a flood of dangers we are just coming to appreciate, let alone address,” said Laurence Chandy, UNICEF Director of Data, Research and Policy.

“While governments and the private sector have made some progress in formulating policies and approaches to eliminate the most egregious online risks, more effort must be made to fully understand and protect children’s online lives.”

Worldwide, one in three internet users is a child, and yet – as outlined in The State of the World’s Children 2017: Children in a digital world – too little is done to protect them from the perils of the digital world, to safeguard the trail of information their online activities create, and to increase their access to safe and quality online content.

Who should be responsible for the protection of young users in the virtual world?

The report makes clear that the obligation to protect children in the digital world lands on everyone, including governments, families, schools and other institutions. It notes, however, that the private sector – especially in the technology and telecommunication industries – has a significant and unique responsibility to shape the impact of digital technology on children – a responsibility that has not been taken seriously enough.

The power and influence of the private sector should be leveraged to advance industry-wide ethical standards on data and privacy, as well as other practices that benefit and protect children online.

UNICEF is calling for renewed urgency and cooperation among governments, civil society, United Nations agencies and other international children’s organizations, and most significantly, the private sector to put children at the centre of digital policy by coordinating global, regional and national response.

“We must deepen collaboration between policy makers, law enforcement and the technology industry to embed principles of safety in the design of technology, and to work together to find solutions to keep pace with digital technology that can enable and conceal illegal trafficking and other online child sexual abuse.”

Role that the private sector and government can play

To safeguard children’s privacy, we need a much greater commitment by the private sector and government to protect and not misuse children’s data and to respect its encryption; the full application of international standards in collecting and using data about children online; and to teach children how to protect themselves from threats to their own privacy.

Likewise, to empower children online through more equitable access and digital literacy, children must be taught how to keep themselves informed, engaged and safe online, including through greater collaboration between governments and technologists to develop ICT platforms and curricula from primary school through high school.

They can also support online libraries and expand the capacity of public libraries to teach digital skills; invest in teacher training in digital technology; teach children how to recognise and protect themselves from online dangers and misinformation; and make digital citizenship a core component of digital literacy instruction.

Urgent need for the establishment and enforcement of industry wide ethical standards to protect children online

There is an urgent need for the establishment and enforcement of industry wide ethical standards on data and privacy that protect and benefit children online; including ethical product development and marketing that mitigates risks to children, UNICEF stated.

“We need better evidence about children’s access and activities online so we can leverage this evidence for regulatory frameworks and policies that recognise the distinct needs and rights of children; strengthen coordination and knowledge sharing at the global level to address the challenges of a digital world; deepen collaboration with children’s organisations; and engage more systematically with policymakers and lawmakers,” stated in press release.

“In the time it takes to click on a link, a child somewhere begins creating a digital trail which those not necessarily considering the child’s best interest can follow and potentially exploit,” said Chandy.

“As younger and younger children join the Internet, the need to have a serious discussion about how to keep them safe online and secure their digital footprint becomes increasingly urgent.”

 

By Kinley Yonten (This article has been edited for the Daily Bhutan)

This article first appeared in The Bhutanese.

 


Related Posts

30 Books Written by Children Released

Under the programme ‘Children Writing for Children,’ students between the ages of 12 to 16 from Zhemgang worked with...

Nov 09, 2017 17:40

Youth Consulted on Sustainable Development

Titled ‘Young Bhutan Network: The Spirit of Youth’, the guideline is expected to streamline the operation of networks...

Dec 16, 2017 14:55

Martial Arts Gaining Popularity with Bhutanese Youth

The President of BIMA, Damber Singh Rai, said that the programme is aimed at engaging students during the winter...

Jan 06, 2018 08:58

Bhutan Achieved 93% Youth Literacy Rate

93 percent of the students attend public schools, but the proportion of students attending public school decreases at...

Jan 13, 2018 11:50

Bhutan’s Possible Collaboration with the Finnish Education System

Finland is the top ranked nation for high quality education. It is also known as the top-ranking nation in the Programme...

Nov 02, 2017 10:35

Education Ministry Working on Providing Lunch in All Schools

There are 301 schools under the school-feeding programme out of which 147 schools provide three meals a day while 154...

Dec 10, 2017 10:23

Latest

News

Employment opportunities amid crisis - Tour guides opts farming

A tour guide could earn a minimum of Nu 30,000 per month during the peak tourist season in Bhutan. The income made was sufficient to support...

May 19, 2020 19:53

Covid-19 response must address gender-based violence, other rights of women and girls

“The social and economic stress that Covid-19 pandemic brings upon households places women and girls in vulnerable positions, burdening them...

May 12, 2020 16:46

Features

Story of Final Year College Student Who Joined college after reopening of eduction institution amid outbreak of COVID 19

Sonam Dorji a final year student shares this thought on his first day of college amid pandemic.

Jul 04, 2020 14:03

Significant pilgrimage sites of Guru Rinpochoe in Bhutan

Discover sacred pilgrim sites of Guru Rinpochoe in Bhutan and the reasons why every buddhist must travel to these most venerated places of...

Jul 01, 2020 11:28

Sports

Karma – Female Archer From Bhutan Qualified For Tokyo 2020 Olympic Quota

Karma has been specialising in Olympics-style archery since 2009.

Nov 30, 2019 13:18

Bhutan’s Pelden Wangchuk Wins 10th Edition Of Tour 0f Dragon Mountain Bike Race

This year, the race also saw the highest number of female participants compared to past years.

Sep 10, 2019 01:08

Business

Once the booming Handicraft Shops in Paro Dying- Paro Today

Paro town looks so different in its history as tourist destination in Bhutan.

Jun 24, 2020 16:58

Celebrating Bhutan’s Entrepreneurs: Namkhar Gyaltshen Of Transcend Artisan

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Mar 06, 2020 11:48

Travel

Trailing Dodeydra Monastery through the scenic route from Northern Part of Thimphu

Did You Know The holy spring water near the monastery is supposed to aid those whose hearing is impaired.

Jul 13, 2020 22:57

Reasons why one should visit Druk Wangditse Lhakhang

The temple is reconstructed to its glory and is dedicated to his majesty the king of Bhutan.

Jul 08, 2020 14:43

Lifestyle

Food on Wheels- First of its kind in Bhutan

The World's Largest Fast Food Restaurant Chains doesn't exist in Bhutan.

Mar 04, 2020 09:39

Amazing Stories from the Eastern Part of Bhutan

You can't say you have visited the eastern part of Bhutan unless you have experienced the following bizarre things.

Mar 02, 2020 19:02

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!