According to UNICEF Philippines, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the way that children use the Internet, specifically the length of time they may spend online, and the levels of risk to which they may be exposed. The age at which children in the Philippines first go online is, on average, 10 years old, and they spend on average just under two hours (116 minutes) a day online. While the study took place prior to the onset of the pandemic, it reports that the expected length of time that children spend online during the pandemic has increased significantly, as children are forced to turn to the Internet for most of their entertainment, connections, and for e-learning.
To close the month-long campaign, child and adolescent leaders discussed their experiences online and how it affects them. The activity also encouraged children and young people to share their own tips on how to stay safe online amid the increased use of the Internet during the pandemic.
“By learning from what we have experienced, we can reimagine a future that addresses the digital divide; a reimagined future that ensures your access to health, nutrition, vaccination, clean water and a hygienic environment. One of the most important considerations of our reimagined future is that our children’s mental health must be a priority,” says UNICEF Philippines Deputy Representative Behzad Noubary as a call to action towards a safer Internet for all.
UNICEF calls on the support of the government, public and private sector, especially children and young people in fostering a safe and protective digital environment for children. Join us in making a safer Internet for kids! Visit: https://www.saferkidsph.org/help-stop-osaec/