Adolescents & Online abuse
ONE IN THREE ADOLESCENTS FACE ONLINE ABUSE
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A study on school students has revealed that one in every three adolescents exposed to the Internet are victims of cyberbullying and other forms of online abuse and nearly half of the users display some level of addiction.
- In an attempt to assess the pattern of Internet use and online safety, an NGO — Child Rights and You (CRY) — conducted a survey in collaboration with Forum for Learning and Action with Innovation and Rigour (FLAIR).
- The study shows that adolescents had easy access to the Internet with 93% of them using it in their homes.
- There was a clear gender disparity in access to personal devices with 60% boys and 40% girls owning a device.
- 30% of adolescents had a negative experience online, the study points out.
- There was also a lack of awareness among the students on Internet safety guidelines developed by the NCERT with only 30% of respondents being familiar with them.
- However, access to the Internet is not all harmful as 40% of the respondents said they used it to take help in their studies such as through online search for words or information, tutorials and access to their school’s online education programme.
- The same ratio of children also used the Internet for extra-curricular activities such as for music, painting or sports.
- The study recommends facilitating among students, familiarity with Internet safety rules, with it being built into the school curriculum.
- It highlights the need to modify the Central government’s child protection scheme to build infrastructure to deal with cybercrimes against children.
- It also presses for schools to recognise an increase in online crimes against children and develop strategies on prevention, reporting and redressal.
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