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PLAN Cambodia provides tips for child safety online

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Children use smartphones at home in Phnom Penh in 2019. Heng Chivoan

PLAN Cambodia provides tips for child safety online

PLAN International Cambodia (PIC) has offered tips to parents to keep children safe online, saying that online child safety remains a concern that needs to be addressed.

PIC said that parents, guardians and teachers need to know how to keep children safe online and be active participants in doing so. It offered several methods that will help children and young people avoid risks or dangers that could adversely affect them.

“Encourage children and youth to show you their favourite online activities. Please establish and agree to a set of rules for using the internet at home. We advise and encourage children and youth to use privacy settings that do not reveal their full name, address, phone number, personal information or identifiable photos,” the letter said.

PIC advised parents and guardians to encourage children and young people to think carefully before posting content such as photos, videos, words or articles on the Internet, and said they should discuss potential dangerous situations that may occur with their children, such as face-to-face meetings with “friends” they have met online.

The NGO also suggested that parents educate children and young people how to consider and evaluate information they find online and to monitor its purpose, history and sources.

“We have to encourage children and youth to establish connections online only with people they know in real life. We should join them when they search for information on the Internet, and block any links or websites that are unreliable or unhelpful,” it stated.

PIC also advised parents not to reject children’s use of the internet out of hand.

Yi Kim Than, PIC deputy country director for programmes, told The Post that the tips were released to mark International Girls in ICT Day observed in late April.

“We feel it is necessary to remind parents and guardians that they need to know how to protect children from online abuse. It is a sensitive issue, but needs to be addressed, as children are at risk,” he said.

“Parents are key actors in helping their children to avoid online abuse as they are the ones who are closest to them. Unfortunately, some parents are not interested and some do not understand the problem,” he added.

A 2022 study co-conducted by UNICEF, Interpol and EPACT found that children in Cambodia are being subjected to online sexual exploitation and abuse. Eleven per cent of internet-using children aged 12-17 were subjected to clear examples of online child sexual exploitation or abuse in the year before they were surveyed. Scaled to the national population, this represents an estimated 160,000 children.


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