Eight out of ten 18-year-olds believe young people are in danger of being sexually abused or taken advantage of online, a Unicef study has found.
Their poll on unwanted sexual comments, harassment and bullying online involved interviewing more than 10,000 teenagers from 25 countries. More than half of respondents said their friends participated in risky behaviour while using the internet.
Children are at risk of cyber bullying, sextortion – when victims are blackmailed by threatening to post explicit images of them on the internet – and online sexual abuse.
“The poll findings show just how real the risk of online abuse is for girls and boys. Globally, one in three internet users is a child.”
“Although online violence and exploitation is a reality in the lives of children worldwide, many children do not have the necessary knowledge or resources to sufficiently protect themselves. Digital safety should be included in curricula and parents need to talk to their children about staying safe online and what to do if they or a friend find themselves in trouble.”
Unicef’s associate director of child protection, Cornelius Williams
The poll also found that most teenagers thought meeting new people online was either somewhat or very important to them, with 36% strongly believing they could tell when people were lying online about their identity. More than 80% said they believed they could deal with sexual comments on the web.
Help, advice and information on how to report online sexual abuse can be found on the CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) website.
For more information on this story, visit The Guardian website article.
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