The partnership seeks to create a safe environment for children online and offline. It aims to improve children’s resilience and capacity to access the digital world safely, increase awareness on violence against children and its impact on communities.
UNICEF India and Facebook launched a one-year joint initiative on ending violence against children with a special focus on online safety. The partnership seeks to create a safe environment for children online and offline. This partnership will include a nationwide social media awareness campaign, and capacity building for 100,000 school children on online safety, digital literacy, and psychosocial support.
Aastha Saxena Khatwani, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India said, “In the last year and a half, the internet has enabled children to continue with their education, removing the barriers of time and geography. As we encourage children to explore the great knowledge resource available online, we should be cognizant of the threats that come along with the all-pervasive nature of these online mediums. I am glad that UNICEF and Facebook are taking this important step forward to educate and sensitize our younger generation against online abuse.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has increased chances for children to face violence – whether online or offline. Acknowledging the significant efforts being made to end violence against children, it’s important different stakeholders come together, to increase awareness, change behaviors and perceptions around how, when, and where violence against children occurs. This is critical to promote a better understanding of the violence and the most effective ways to ensure child safety both online and offline,” said UNICEF India Deputy Representative Programmes, Yasumasa Kimura. “The partnership with Facebook at this critical time will help shape a safer online and offline world for children to grow, learn and thrive,” he said.
Facebook Head of Programs and Outreach, Madhu Sirohi said, “The pandemic has spurred the adoption of digital platforms. Being online gives young people so many choices. It gives them skills such as self-control and resilience that can help them make decisions that will lead to positive outcomes both online and offline. Protecting children online is important to us and we take this responsibility seriously. Over the years we have worked with parents, governments, and safety experts to offer a safe online experience for the youngest members of our community. Today, we are delighted to partner with UNICEF to make the internet safe for children and young audiences. Through this partnership, we want to help them participate in public life by using the power of digital platforms, and to advocate for issues they care about.”