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UNICEF targets cyberbullying at World Internet Conference

(Xinhua)    09:41, October 22, 2019

WUZHEN, Zhejiang Province, Oct. 21 -- The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) targeted cyberbullying at the ongoing 6th World Internet Conference (WIC) that opened Sunday in Wuzhen, eastern China's Zhejiang Province.

"As we mark 30 years since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the creation of the World Wide Web, more needs to be done to protect children's rights online as well as offline," said UNICEF deputy executive director Omar Abdi during the conference.

According to Omar Abdi, issues of excessive use, exposure to inappropriate content, misuse of personal information and privacy, online child sexual abuse and cyberbullying are the deficiencies of online juvenile protection.

"In this digital age, the development of the information, communication and technology (ICT) sector has brought with it great opportunities for children, however, it has also brought risks to their safety and wellbeing," he said. "We must ensure that children's rights -- and particularly protecting children online -- are at the heart of internet governance and safety."

He recognized China's efforts in the area of online protection, citing the country's pledge to the WePROTECT Global Alliance, an international movement to end child sexual exploitation online, and China's recent enactment of the Rules of Online Protection of Children's Personal Data.

Omar Abdi also called for greater involvement from the ICT sector. "The ICT sector needs to shoulder greater responsibility to uphold child rights online and bring innovative solutions to the table."

On Friday, the UNICEF launched its "Key to Kindness" campaign featuring an interactive keyboard installation, which aims to build a positive online experience in China.

The life-size, reimagined keyboard filled with positive words was unveiled at the UNICEF booth at the "Light of Internet Expo," a side event of the WIC.

"Typed words have tremendous power to either hurt or help," said Cynthia McCaffrey, a representative of UNICEF China. "With this reinvented keyboard, UNICEF hopes to remind young people that kindness is a responsibility that begins with each of us."

According to UNICEF's recent Global Kids Online research in China, where more than 3,400 students aged 10 to 18 responded to the survey, 24 percent of them have experienced cyberbullying.

Young people can experience the campaign through an H5 game, where kind words are used to win over bullying monsters. UNICEF has also built a campaign page to offer victims, bystanders and parents guidance on how to cope with cyberbullying.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Liang Jun)

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