New report released on online child safety in the Pacific Islands

Plan International Australia, in partnership with Child Fund Australia and the Young and Resilient Research Centre at Western Sydney University, released a report titled Online Safety in the Pacific that is based on research conducted in Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands to better understand the challenges and opportunities that digital technologies present to children.

While digital technologies present benefits to children, they also make them vulnerable. Access remains a challenge for children, and the report observes that this limited access to technology has impeded children from developing the skills to protect themselves online. Just as importantly, many parents or caregivers are not equipped to support children in this regard.

To address the issue of protecting children online and ensuring that they benefit from the use of technologies, the report suggests recommendations under three pillars:  protection, provision, and participation. These include suggestions such as strengthening existing policies related to: protecting children online, developing classifications for age appropriate content online, allocating money to build capacity among teachers, encouraging industry to adopt a safe-by-design approach, ensuring quality programs and services by adhering to the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child,  protecting the rights of children online, and implementing a community approach to protect children online