Marking the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

Tuesday, 4 June 2019 marks the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression. On this occasion, the BIK Team reflects on the violence children and young people are exposed to in the digital world, and on the coordinated effort carried out at European level to put an end to these.

This global observance originates from the United Nations General Assembly's resolution ES-7/8 on 19 August 1982, to denounce the suffering of Palestinian and Lebanese children, and more broadly to "acknowledge the pain suffered by children throughout the world who are victims of physical, mental and emotional abuse". This move is reinforced by other landmarks, such as the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child and the 51/77 Resolution on the Rights of the Child.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in its target 16.2, commits to "end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children". Among the figures quoted in relation to this objective, the UN notes, in particular, that:

  • While 1 in 3 internet users worldwide is a child, and 800 million of them use social media, any child can become a victim of online violence.
  • 1 in 10 children is sexually abused before the age of 18. In relation to this, child online sexual abuse reports to the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has grown from 1 million in 2014 to 45 million in 2018.
  • 1 in 3 students has been bullied by their peers at school in the last month, and at least 1 in 10 children have experienced cyberbullying.

Through the Insafe/INHOPE network, European Safer Internet Centres work at the frontline of children's protection against online violence, proactively tackling issues such as cyberbullying and the circulation of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) on the internet. On the one hand, awareness centres strive to educate children, young people, parents, carers, teachers and educators about online safety issues, while helplines provide assistance to them in case of problem on the internet. On the other, hotlines aim to stop, together with industry partners, the (re-)circulation of CSAM online through anonymous reporting mechanisms, while providing actionable intelligence to law enforcement authorities.

Learn more about the work of the Insafe/INHOPE Safer Internet Centres in the Better Internet for Kids and #SaferInternet4EU 2018 Annual Report and in the #TogetherForABetterInternet information sheet.

Find out more information about the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression on the UN website, and follow the events of the day on Twitter @UN.

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