On Monday, UNICEF India and Facebook announced a one-year partnership to combat violence against children, emphasizing online safety.
The alliance, according to UNICEF, aims to establish a safe environment for children both online and offline. It aims to promote children’s resilience and capacity to access the digital world securely, raise awareness of child abuse and its impact on children, families, and communities, and develop community and frontline worker skills to prevent and respond to child abuse effectively.
UNICEF India And Facebook Initiative
The partnership comprises a nationwide social media campaign and capacity building for 100,000 school children on internet safety, digital literacy, and psychosocial support.
Aastha Saxena Khatwani, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Madhu Sirohi, Facebook Head of Programs and Outreach, and Yasumasa Kimura, UNICEF India Deputy Representative Programmes, were among those who attended the initiative’s virtual launch.
The Republic Word reported, Yasumasa Kimura, UNICEF India’s Deputy Representative, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the chances for children to face violence – whether online or offline. Acknowledging the significant efforts to end violence against children, different stakeholders must come together to increase awareness and 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.”
“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,” said Madhu Sirohi.
“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… 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,” she added.