UNICEF East Asia report highlights “Children gain opportunities but face risks in age of social media”

UNICEF has released a report, “Our Lives Online: Use of Social Media by Children and Adolescents in East Asia – opportunities, risks and harms.” This report has been created by  UNICEF’s East Asia and Pacific regional office and the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention exploring the use of social media by children aged 11 to 18 years  in East Asia (in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand)

The report highlights that while children benefit by access to the social media sites, this also exposes them to various risks and harms.

Across countries the report observes  “the lack of digital literacy amongst parents and caregivers; restrictive responses by adults to perceived misbehaviour in children’s social media use; and a lack of evidence-based approaches into what works in keeping children safe online.”

The report makes several recommendations, such as , improving  support for digital parenting, fostering online and offline resilience in children, ensuring  that messaging and responses by teachers and adults are evidence based and what will work and three steps for technology companies to protect children online.