1 in 3 young people have been victims of cyberbullying: UNICEF

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 04 2019 10:42 PM

MANILA - One third of young people in 30 countries said they have been a victim of online bullying, a new poll released Wednesday by UNICEF showed.

The survey also showed one in five young people said they skipped school due to cyberbullying and violence.

In the Philippines, the National Baseline Survey on Violence Against Children (NBS-VAC) in 2016 showed cyberviolence affects almost half of children aged 13 to 17.

The prevalence of cyberviolence for males (44 percent) and females (43 percent) is almost the same.

The study also showed one-third of cyberviolence experienced by Filipino children are in the form of verbal abuse over the internet or through cellphones, while a fourth are through sexual messages.

More females received messages of sexual nature or content than males. Twice as many males than females, however, reported having their nude body or sexual activities, whether real or falsified, shown on the internet or cellphone.

In the UNICEF U-Report poll conducted in June 2019, almost three-quarters of young people from 30 countries said that social networks including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter are the most common platforms for online bullying. 

This means that school no longer ends once a student leaves class, and neither does bullying.

The U-Report also revealed 32 percent of respondents believe the government is mainly responsible in addressing online bullying, 31 percent said that young people are responsible, while 29 percent said internet companies are responsible.

These show opinions are divided in terms of who should be responsible for ending online bullying. It also highlights the need to involve children and young people in the shared responsibility.

All forms of violence against children, including bullying or cyberbullying, have devastating effects on the physical and emotional well being of young people that can create lasting emotional and psychological scars.

UNICEF is calling for urgent action to implement policies that will protect children and young people both from online and offline bullying.

UNICEF is also urging social media and social networking service companies to improve ethical standards and practices in collecting and managing information of children.