UNICEF launches poll and ReplyforAll campaign on Internet safety for adolescents

Two boys from the town of Cebu, in the Philippines. Photo: UNICEF/Joshua Estey In addition, two thirds of interviewees in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean either believe strongly, or somewhat strongly, that friends put themselves at risk online, compared with 33 per cent in the United States and the United Kingdom. The survey also shows that 18-year-olds in the United States and the United Kingdom are most confident they can avoid online dangers, with 94 per cent strongly or somewhat agreeing they can protect themselves on social media. In the Middle East and North Africa, only 41 per cent strongly agree and an additional 37 per cent agree somewhat on that issue. In Central European countries, 63 per cent of interviewees strongly agree they would tell a friend if they felt threatened online, compared with 46 per cent who would tell their parent. Only 9 per cent would tell a teacher, the survey found. To engage children and adolescents in ending violence online, UNICEF said it is launching the #ReplyforAll campaign, which is part of its global End Violence Against Children initiative. The #ReplyforAll campaign puts adolescents as messengers and advocates to keep them safe online. Children and adolescents will be asked to give their advice on the best ways to respond to online violence or risks and to raise awareness among friends through social media. This work has been supported by the WePROTECT Global Alliance, an initiative created in 2014 by the Government of the United Kingdom that is dedicated to ending the sexual exploitation of children online through national and global action. UNICEF, together with the WePROTECT Global Alliance, is calling on national governments to establish coordinated responses between criminal justice systems including law enforcement, and child welfare, education, health and the information and communication technology (ICT) sectors, as well as civil society, to better protect children from online sexual abuse and exploitation. “When young people, governments, families, the ICT sector and communities work together, we are more likely to find the best ways to respond to online sexual abuse and exploitation, and send a strong message that confronting and ending violence against children online – indeed anywhere – is all of our business,” said Mr. Williams. The report, Perils and Possibilities: Growing up online is based on an international opinion poll of more than 10,000 18-year-olds from 25 countries, and discusses young people’s perspectives on the risks they face growing up in an increasingly connected world. “The Internet and mobile phones have revolutionized young people’s access to information, but the poll findings show just how real the risk of online abuse is for girls and boys,” said Cornelius Williams, UNICEF’s Associate Director of Child Protection. “Globally, one in three Internet users is a child. Today’s findings provide important insights from young people themselves. UNICEF aims to amplify adolescents’ voices to help address online violence, exploitation and abuse, and make sure that children can take full advantage of the benefits the internet and mobile phones offer,” he added. The report found that adolescents appear confident with their own ability to stay safe while using the internet, with nearly 90 per cent of interviewees believing they can avoid online dangers. Approximately six out of 10 said meeting new people online is either somewhat or very important to them, but only 36 per cent strongly believe they can tell when people are lying about who they are online. More than two thirds of girls – 67 per cent – strongly agree they would be worried if they received sexual comments or requests over the internet, compared with 47 per cent of boys. When online threats do occur, more adolescents turn to friends than parents or teachers, but less than half strongly agree they know how to help a friend facing an online risk. The report also found that two thirds of 18-year-olds in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean believe children and adolescents are in danger of being sexually abused or taken advantage of online, compared with 33 per cent polled in the Middle East and North Africa. read more

Grant receives countrys top academic nod

Barry Grant says he feels “honoured and flattered” to be elected to the Royal Society of Canada.A Brock professor has received Canada’s highest academic honour by being elected to the Royal Society of Canada (RSC).Barry Grant, a Film Studies professor, has been named a Fellow to the country’s oldest society of scientists and scholars. With his election into the society, Grant has received the highest honour a scholar can achieve and earns the right to use the postnomial FRSC (Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada).The RSC was founded in 1882 by the Marquesse of Lorne, then Canada’s Governor-General. Since then, about 2,000 Fellows have been named. The society serves three purposes: to recognize outstanding contributions to Canada’s  intellectual culture; to promote Canadian culture abroad; and to advise  governments and organizations.Elections of new Fellows must be supported by three existing members of the society. Grant said he was “honoured and flattered” to hear of his inclusion, particularly for his involvement in the fields of film studies and popular culture. He welcomes the chance to represent his field.“It’s good for the discipline of film studies,” he said. “It gives it more visibility. What I would hope is, because there is as of yet no other Fellows from my fields in the Royal Society, that I’ll be able to give informed input into the development of relevant official policy, such as copyright and censorship.”Brock is proud of Grant’s many accomplishments, said Murray Knuttila, Provost and Vice-President Academic.“The national and international recognition that accompanies membership in the Royal Society speaks to the quality and stature of the faculty at Brock,” he said. “Barry is one of many distinguished teachers and researchers who have made their careers in Niagara and who contribute to our community in a variety of ways.”“Barry Grant is a world renowned expert in the history of film and an all round stellar academic,” said Thomas Dunk, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. “He is a great teacher, as well as a fantastic researcher and prolific writer.”It’s been an accomplished year for Grant, who has taught at Brock since 1975. He recently received the Canadian Association of University Teachers Distinguished Academic Award, the national association’s highest academic award, as well as the Pedagogy Award for outstanding contributions to the teaching of film studies from the international Society for Cinema and Media Studies.With adjunct professor Joan Nicks, he recently edited the book Covering Niagara: Studies in Local Popular Culture, which was launched in June. This Halloween, the British Film Institute will publish his monograph on the horror film classic, Invasion of the Body Snatchers.Grant is the fourth Brock academic to be named to the RSC. The others are Sandra Beckett (French, 2004), Kenneth Kernaghan (Political Science, 1998) and Richard Rand (Biological Sciences, 1993).Grant will attend the Annual General Meeting of the RSC from Nov. 26 to 28 in Ottawa.Related links:• Grant receiving national award for teaching, overall service | The Brock News• Niagara culture celebrated at book launch | The Brock News read more