ITU, WeProtect Global Alliance – Media
Protection through Online Participation (POP) is a collaborative initiative that looks to better understand how children and youth are accessing safety and protection through digital means.
Even though the Internet is a place where children are at risk, it’s also a place where children are increasingly accessing safety. During COVID-19, with services being disrupted in over 104 countries, protection services with online communication channels became critical for children to access help. Helplines had to increase their online volunteers to address their audiences’ needs, and violence and mental health were still the issues most asked about. This evidenced how children were using the online world to access the help they need
With the increase of these support systems, it becomes critical to better understand them.
WHAT DOES POP WANT TO DO?
Identify and disseminate means through which children (under 18) and young people (under 25) are using the Internet ‘to be safer’, by helping prevent, protect, and respond to violence, for themselves or their peers. This includes using online channels to contact helplines, access protection services, creating peer-to-peer support systems and networks, and coming up with innovative solutions for reporting different forms of violence. The project aims to have a better understanding of these systems, including good practices, lessons learned, and challenges.
WHY DO WE NEED TO DO THIS?
Because protecting children and young people is a shared responsibility, and evidence is showing that children and young people are increasingly turning to the online world to access safety and protection – including helplines, support networks, and resources – yet there’s a need to make that information widely available to child protection entities, and to better understand how these systems work to make effective recommendations for implementing them.
WHAT POP IS DOING NOW: MAPPING!
The first step to better understanding how these systems work is to map them. A survey looking to pa services and helplines using digital means is currently being disseminated through POP partners. So far, the survey has received over 1700 responses from 50 countries. Please support POP by helping disseminate globally.
The survey is available in all 6 UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish) and can be found here: