Since the pandemic began, we have seen a surge of people online, with digital technology advancing rapidly – however it isn’t the case everywhere. In low-income countries, on average only one in every five people are online, marking a stark divide across the globe.
Today ChildFund Australia acknowledges Safer Internet Day, this year themed Play It Fair Online. We work with partners across the region to ensure that children and young people are safe and empowered online. This means that they can access quality education and core services, receive reliable information, and stay connected with their peers. ChildFund Australia calls on all governments and the private sector to protect and respect the digital rights of children and young people. We know that online safety is a global problem that requires global collaboration to resolve issues such as lack of devices, weak infrastructure and low levels of digital literacy and skills.
No single country or individual organisation should direct the course of our digital future. The Australian Government is a global leader in online safety and is well placed to commit to sharing our practices worldwide. But we must work together with all governments, industry, academia and citizens.
“Children’s online safety is a priority for ChildFund Australia. We continue to work with academics to conduct participatory research to better understand children and young people’s experiences online across the Pacific and Mekong regions. We must create guard rails that ensure that digital transformation is a force for good for every child and young person,” says Margaret Sheehan CEO ChildFund Australia.
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