Two thirds of world’s school-age children have no Internet access at home, new UNICEF-ITU report says

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) published a new report that revealed that two thirds of the world’s school-age children – or 1.3 billion children aged 3 to 17 years old – do not have Internet connection in their homes. The report entitled ‘How Many Children and Youth Have Internet Access at Home?’ underlined a parallel lack of access among young people aged 15 to 24 years old, with 759 million or 63% unconnected at home. ‘That so many children and young people have no Internet at home is more than a digital gap – it is a digital canyon. Lack of connectivity doesn’t just limit children and young people’s ability to connect online. It prevents them from competing in the modern economy. It isolates them from the world,’ highlighted UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. Geographic disparities within countries and across regions were further reported. Globally, around 60% of school-age children in urban areas do not have Internet access at home, compared with around three quarters of school-age children in rural households. To this aim, the ITU and UNICEF are calling for urgent investment to bridge the digital divide currently preventing children and young people from accessing quality digital learning and opportunities online.