Safeguarding children in the digital space | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 29, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:45 AM, September 29, 2018

Safeguarding children in the digital space

Grameenphone, Telenor Group and Unicef roll out Child Online Safety programme

Grameenphone, Telenor Group and Unicef have kicked off a safe internet outreach programme at schools nationwide to create awareness and understanding of a safer internet environment for the youth, as part of an agreement signed earlier this year.

The programme, titled “Be Smart, Use Heart”, was officially rolled out at GPHouse in Dhaka on September 26 in the presence of State Minister of ICT, Zunaid Ahmed Palak; noted educationist and Chairman of Bishwo Shahitto Kendro, Prof Abdullah Abu Sayeed; author and journalist Anisul Hoque; Grameenphone CEO, Michael Foley; Unicef Bangladesh Representative, Edouard Beigbeder; Grameenphone CCAO, Mahmud Hossain; and Telenor Group's Vice President, Sustainability and Child Online Safety Specialist, Ola Jo Tandre, according to a press release.

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The programme has been specially designed to engage and empower 400,000 children -- aged between 11 and 16 years -- and sensitise 50,000 parents, guardians and teachers on how to facilitate a safer digital experience. The training in schools focus primarily on building awareness on the safety measures for digital learning. Moreover, the scope of the Child Helpline hotline (1098) service has been expanded to incorporate child online safety issues, where the youngsters can receive counselling and other support directly from the hotline.

This initiative will help Grameenphone and Telenor Group support their global commitment to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 10 – Reducing Inequalities.

Speaking on the occasion the Grameenphone CEO said, “As the biggest internet service provider in Bangladesh we have a responsibility to ensure a safer digital experience for our young users. The internet is a key source for knowledge, entertainment and communication, and everyone should have safer experience.”  

“Ensuring internet safety is a key element of achieving our dream of a digital Bangladesh. As a nation, we want to equip our youth with the right modes of technology so that they can compete on a global scale,” said Zunaid Ahmed Palak, who was present at the event as chief guest.

“We want to take necessary measures and help organisations like Grameenphone and Unicef to create safer digital environment for our future generations,” he added.

“Internet is a platform that provides people with opportunity to connect with each other and learn. We are hopeful that this partnership with Grameenphone will help us disperse a sense of responsibility amongst all users of the digital platform,” said Edouard Beigbeder.

The event was also attended by other officials from Grameenphone, Unicef and Telenor.

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