LAHORE-Telenor Pakistan and UNICEF have partnered to expand the child online protection program in Pakistan through their joint digital initiative, “Strengthening Child Online Protection for Children and Youth in Pakistan”. The program promotes safe and responsible internet use among children, caregivers and educators through awareness and capacity building efforts.
In addition to promoting safe internet use, the program will support the government in developing localized policies and regulatory frameworks for the masses on online child safety. Over the next three years, Telenor Pakistan and UNICEF will train 750,000 children, caregivers and educators through a hybrid training module. They also plan to engage with key stakeholders to create an appropriate legal and policy environment with an evidence-based, consultative and coordinated approach to protecting children and young people in the digital world.
At the signing ceremony of the partnership, Kamal Ahmed, Director of Corporate Affairs of Telenor Pakistan, said, “Increased access to digital platforms brings progress to society but raises safety concerns for children. Digital skills and online safety are a collective responsibility. Through this partnership with UNICEF, Telenor Pakistan will continue to promote digital inclusion, online safety and new skills to help young people navigate a connected world. Our ambition is to build capacity and enable children, educators and caregivers to adopt protective measures online.
The rapid digital acceleration of recent years has fundamentally accelerated the course of technological innovation, bringing with it countless benefits and some undesirable risks. With one in three Internet users now being a child, more focus needs to be placed on the child protection landscape. More than 30% of young people in 30 countries said they had been victims of cyberbullying, and one in five had even skipped school.
Zainab Hussain Siddiqui, VP Sustainability Health Safety and Environment, Supply Chain Sustainability and Partnership, Telenor said, “Telenor Group’s global partnership with UNICEF plays a key role in delivering on our ambition to empower societies by promoting the digital inclusion, increasing connectivity and building skills. for a digital future for children and young people.
“Today, the Internet is a fundamental part of the lives of children and young people, increasingly blurring the boundary between the digital and physical worlds. The protection of young people is a global challenge that is constantly evolving due to rapid advances in technology and society. Through initiatives like these, it is possible to create safe and age-appropriate digital environments for children and young people in Pakistan,” she added.
Through their previous collaboration, Telenor Pakistan and UNICEF have successfully empowered 2.5 million children across Pakistan with the right to identity through their digital birth registration program. With this new partnership, the two organizations hope to continue to provide young people with the knowledge to protect themselves from online risks.