Save the Children Philippines called on parents and teachers to strengthen face to face interaction with children due to rising cases of violence and bullying against minors in the digital platform including social media.
Children with disability and teenagers who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Intersex are the most prone to physical and sexual violence and bullying according to a report by the Joining Forces, a group composed of ChildFund Alliance, Plan International, Save the Children International, SOS Children’s Villages International, Terre des Hommes International Federation, and World Vision International.
The report titled: A Second Revolution: 30 years of child rights, and the unfinished agenda released Wednesday highlights the most urgent, critical and transformative child rights issues.
It said children were better off 30 years since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of a Child in November 20, 1989.
But it called on governments to protect children from new risks such as online violence, bullying and discrimination.
“Thirty years ago, governments sparked a revolution in how the world views and treats its children. Yet the promise of the Convention on the Rights of the Child was only ever partially realized. What is needed now is a second revolution, in which the rights of every child—whoever they are, and wherever they live—are fulfilled,” said the report.
Lawyer Albert Muyot, Chief Executive Officer, said parents and teachers have important roles to ensure children are protected from threats of online violence and bullying through open communication and proper guidance.
“Children need to grow in a nurturing environment with love and acceptance at home and in schools where they spend most of their growing years,” said Muyot in a statement.
The report raised alarming cases of online violence on children due to increase in access to internet.
These include bullying and discrimination, to worst forms of violence such as sexual exploitation, sharing of extreme content, including pornography and violent images.
It cited a study of 5,000 children aged 10-12 years old across 15 countries who feel unsafe on the Internet and social networks, and want to play an active role in violence prevention.
In the Philippines, close to half of population of children aged 13-17 experienced cyber violence based on the National Baseline Survey on Violence against Children. Cases of online violence in the form of verbal abuse and sent sexual messages are higher among boys at 45.3 percent compared with girls at 42.2 percent.