WHO outlines ‘clear direction’ for reducing online violence against children

December 3, 2022
44 Views

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday published a report aimed at helping stakeholders worldwide end the growing scourge of violence online against children.

WHO, in the new report, “What works to prevent online violence against children,” focuses on ways of curbing the grooming of youngsters via the Internet, sexual image abuse, cyber aggression and harassment in the form of cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking, hacking and identity theft.

The report also showcases strategies and best practices to better protect children.

“Our children spend more and more time online and as such, it is our duty to make the online environment safe”, said Etienne Krug, Director of the WHO Department of Social Determinants of Health.

The report highlights the importance of implementing educational programmes directed at children and parents to prevent online violence.

Studies have shown their effectiveness in reducing levels of victimisation, curbing abusers and associated risk behaviors such as alcohol and drug abuse.

“This new document provides for the first time a clear direction for action by governments, donors and other development partners, showing that we must address online and offline violence together if we are to be effective,” Krug said.

The report recommends implementing school-based educational programmes, promoting interaction among youths, and engaging parents.

It also underscores the importance of training young people in assertiveness, empathy, problem-solving, emotion management and seeking help, among other skills.

WHO pointed out that educational programmes were more successful with multiple and varied delivery formats such as videos, games, posters, infographics and guided discussions.

The report argues that comprehensive forms of sex education could reduce physical and sexual aggression – particularly in dating online, reducing partner violence, and tackling homophobic bullying.

The effectiveness of sex education has been confirmed in countries across the whole development spectrum.

Improvements must be made in several areas, according to the report.

Advertisement

Given the overlap of problems and solutions, it noted that more violence prevention programmes were needed to address the problem, together with offline violence prevention.

“As strangers are not the sole or even the predominant offenders online, less emphasis should be placed on stranger danger.

“Instead, more attention should be paid to acquaintances and peers, as they are responsible for a majority of offences.”

Given that looking for romance and intimacy online are major sources of vulnerability, the report spotlights the need to emphasise healthy relationship skills.

From fostering learning to developing personal and professional skills and expressing creativity, the internet offers a great deal to children and young people, the report stressed.

However, governments must find the right balance between developing digital opportunities and protecting users from harm.

The UN health agency is committed to contributing to better understanding all forms of violence against children and helping to guide the international response.

You may be interested

Lagos Court Jails Bobrisky Six Months for Naira Abuse
Crime
Crime

Lagos Court Jails Bobrisky Six Months for Naira Abuse

Webby - April 12, 2024

Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court, sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Friday, April 12, 2024, sentenced Idris Okuneye,…

JUST IN: Covenant Beats UI, UNILAG, Others To Emerge Best University (FULL LIST)
News
1 views
News
1 views

JUST IN: Covenant Beats UI, UNILAG, Others To Emerge Best University (FULL LIST)

Webby - April 12, 2024

The Times Higher Education has published its 2024 World Universities Rankings, covering 108 countries and regions. In Nigeria, 39 universities…

BREAKING: Bobrisky Finally Sent To Prison
News
1 views
News
1 views

BREAKING: Bobrisky Finally Sent To Prison

Webby - April 12, 2024

Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court in Lagos has sentenced cross-dresser Idris Okuneye, also known as Bobrisky, to…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.