As a mother, I want my children to benefit from today’s digital revolution. But I also want to protect them from risks they face online.
As the Director of the ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), I have the privilege and responsibility to contribute to build a better internet for all children.
Safer Internet Day 2019, observed on 5 February, is the day when governments, companies, civil society and international organizations come together to show their actions in promoting a safer and more responsible use of digital technologies especially amongst children and young people across the world.
Safer Internet Day is not just on 5 February, but every day. Every day we work to protect young people and children online.
The theme of this year’s Safer Internet Day – “Together for better internet” – is all about collaboration and partnership.
I believe that we all have to work together not only to bring more people online, but also to discuss, identify and implement solutions towards building a universally available, open, secure and trustworthy Internet.
Protecting children and young adults from online risks is a global challenge, which requires a global approach.
In my discussions with key stakeholders, including parents, the issue of online safety regularly comes up as one that we need to collectively put our efforts into, working together for maximum impact.
ITU data shows that over 70 per cent of the world’s youth are online. In developed countries, 94% of young people aged 15-24 use the Internet while in developing countries the number stands at 67%. These numbers illustrate that, today young people are the most dynamic users of technologies. It is therefore paramount that we all work together to ensure a better Internet for our children and future generations.
Now in its second decade, the ITU Child Online Protection (COP) Initiative is a multi-stakeholder effort that brings together partners from all sectors of the global community to create a safe and empowering online experience for children around the world.
Through our Regional Offices, ITU is bringing the spirit of Safer Internet Day to the regional and national levels with a series of new initiatives to bring different stakeholders on board – and build on past success:
I invite you to read Guidelines for Child Online Protection, prepared by ITU in collaboration with COP partners, in order to establish the necessary foundation for a safer and more secure cyber world for future generations
We all need to play our part in creating a better internet for everyone, and especially for our children and future generations.