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Updated On: Monday, 16 September 2019

UNICEF Report on Online Sexual Abuse

Content by: South-South News

7 June 2016, New York, USA | South-South News — A new UNICEF study showed eight out of ten 18-year-olds believe young people are in danger of being sexually abused or taken advantage of online, and more than five out of 10 think friends participate in risky behaviors while using the internet.

The UNICEF study - “Perils and Possibilities: Growing up online” - is based on a global opinion poll of more than 10,000 18-year-olds from 25 countries, revealing young people’s perspectives on the risks they face growing up in an increasingly connected world.

Clara Sommarin, a Child Protection Specialist at UNICEF, said, “While before we have thought that most of the children are vulnerable to online violence and abuse in high income countries because they perhaps have a laptop or a smartphone, we know now that this is actually not true, that children in very low resource settings and communities are equally vulnerable.”

UNICEF said one in three internet users is a child. The new report finds that adolescents appear confident with their own ability to stay safe, with nearly 90 per cent of interviewees believing they can avoid online dangers. Approximately six out of 10 said meeting new people online is either somewhat or very important to them, but only 36 per cent strongly believe they can tell when people are lying about who they are online.

More than two-thirds of girls, 67 per cent strongly agree they would be worried if they received sexual comments or requests over the internet, this compares to 47 per cent of boys. When online threats do occur, more adolescents turn to friends than parents or teachers, but less than half strongly agree they know how to help a friend facing an online risk.

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