WHO Publishes Report Detailing Ways to Keep Children Safe Online

By: | January 3rd, 2023

Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced a new report which presents ways to address the growing worldwide concern about keeping children safe online. The report, named “What works to prevent online violence against children,” gives strategies and practices to better protect children in the online environment.

Making The Online Environment Safe for Children

Children are growing up in a digital world where the internet is ubiquitous and they are spending more and more time online. As online activities can threaten privacy, home security, and health, making the online environment safe is a necessary duty.

It can’t be denied that the internet has major advantages. According to WHO, internet access offers many possibilities for children and young people, such as fostering learning, developing personal and professional skills, expressing creativity, or participating in society.

As more devices are IoT enabled, the risk to kids increases. Therefore, it is important to find the right balance between fostering opportunities for young people through the digital environment and protecting them from harm.

The Importance of Educational Programs

The report mentions two forms of online violence, including child sexual abuse and cyber harassment. To prevent online violence against children, WHO highlights the importance of implementing educational programs directed at children and parents.

There are a lot of studies that also have shown such programs’ effectiveness in reducing violence victimization, perpetration, and associated risk behaviors like alcohol and drug abuse. In addition, these educational programs are going to be more successful if they use multiple and varied delivery formats such as videos, games, posters, infographics, and guided discussions.

The report also shows the benefits of comprehensive forms of sex education, which can reduce physical and sexual aggression, especially, dating and partner violence and homophobic bullying. Sex education has confirmed its effectiveness in many countries of all income levels.

On the other hand, WHO also highlights the need for more violence prevention programs that integrate content about online dangers with offline violence prevention.

Instead of focusing on stranger danger, it is necessary to pay more attention to acquaintance and peer perpetrators and to healthy relationship skills, as romance and intimacy-seeking are major sources of vulnerability to online violence.

With a holistic approach, the WHO sees a safer future ahead for the world’s children.


More articles from Industry Tap...