On February 8, the World Safe Internet Day, UNICEF and the MIA Cyber Security Center formed a partnership to protect children from online violence, the press service of the UNICEF Office in Uzbekistan told Gazeta.uz.
“Expanding access to the Internet and reducing inequalities in access to information is critical to ensuring that all children and young people acquire the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. Unfortunately, despite all its advantages, the Internet is also associated with online abuse, exploitation and misinformation. Therefore, the best way to combat violence, both online and in real life, is to take a systematic approach to addressing these issues,” Munir Mamedzade, UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan, said.
“In the current era of globalization, the worldview of young people is changing day by day. One of the main reasons for this is their active use of modern information communications, their ability to keep abreast of world news and events. In this regard, in our country, where the majority of the population is young, it is important to prevent and combat cyber threats against them,” Bekhzod Mamadjanov, head of the MIA Cyber Security Center, said.
As next steps in the fight against violence against children on the Internet and in real life, participants recommended improving interagency cooperation, active participation of civil society organizations, raising awareness of parents and professionals on child support and protection from online threats.
UNICEF and the Cyber Security Center are planning to establish a National Center for Secure Internet. This online platform publishes information on protection against online violence. The platform has an operator who can advise or support children and parents 24 hours a day. In addition, children on the Internet will be able to send messages about the dangers through the Telegram-bot.
According to UNICEF, one-third of Internet users worldwide are children under the age of 18, and every half second, one child accesses the Internet for the first time. However, these opportunities can also be associated with serious risks and threats in various forms for children. These include cyber bullying, cyber harassment, cyber grooming, that is, establishing friendly relationships with children with bad intentions.