Nepal to mark ‘Safer Internet Day 2023’ on Feb 7

Kathmandu: Nepal is all set to celebrate ‘Safer Internet Day 2023’ on February 7.

Safe Internet Day is being celebrated on Tuesday, around the globe
with the theme ‘Want to talk about it? Making space for conversations about life online.’

Safer Internet Day is celebrated in February each year to promote the safer and positive use of digital technology for children and young people and to inspire a national conversation.

It calls upon young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, and policymakers to join together in helping to create a better internet.

As the Safer Internet Day national secretariat, ChildSafeNet, a specialised organisation working to protect children and young people online, has been coordinating and promoting Safer Internet Day in Nepal.

“The day offers the opportunity to highlight positive uses of technology and explore the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online environment for children and young people. Children and young people have the same right to be protected online as they have the right to be protected offline,” says Anil Raghuvanshi, Founder/President of ChildSafeNet.

As children and young people are heavy users of technology, unsafe use of the internet exposes them to serious harm, such as online sexual abuse & exploitation, cyberbullying, cyber grooming, phishing and sextortion.

Parental influence, guidance and education have the potential to empower children to use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically
and creatively.

Therefore, Raghuvanshi urged the parents, government, schools, private sector, media, NGOs and all duty-bearers to take timely and adequate actions to protect children online.

According to the US- based organisation, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there were 63,266 CyberTipline reports (suspected reports of online child sexual exploitation imagery) from Nepal in 2019.
In 2021, CyberTipline reports from Nepal increased to 263,130, which is a 415% increase.

Moreover, according to a ChildSafeNet and UNICEF study, one in two boys or young men and one in three girls or young women are exposed to sexual content online, despite the government-imposed ban on pornographic sites in Nepal.

ChildSafeNet and its partners will conduct online safety awareness sessions in different parts of the country. More than 35 organisations, including UN agencies, INGOs, NGOs, CBOS, the private sector and media houses, have expressed solidarity with the Safer Internet Day in Nepal.
Furthermore, ChildSafeNet and its partner organisations, Child Development Society, World Vision International Nepal, Child Fund Japan, Digital Broadcast Initiative Equal Access, Veda Creation Society and Love Green Nepal, conduct online safety awareness activities, including online and offline events, radio and TV programmes, children and young people & interactions, essay competitions, screening of
videos and quiz contests.

Besides organisations working on children’s issues, including CWIN Nepal, Umbrella Organisation, and Voice of Children, will be conducting online safety awareness programmes.