Ten years after the launch of its first child online safety initiative in Asia, Telenor Group has expanded child online safety platform, DigiWorld, to include locally adapted versions in Bangladesh and Myanmar.
DigiWorld is an interactive, online learning resource, developed in partnership with ParentZone. It helps children aged between 5 and 16, their families and schools, build the knowledge, skills and digital resilience needed to navigate the online world in a safer way. Need for the curriculum has grown significantly this year, with children spending a lot more time attending online classrooms and socialising with friends on the internet in addition to usual online activities.
In Telenor’s Asia markets, this has elevated the risk of cyberbullying and exposure to other online dangers. A survey commissioned by Telenor’s mobile operator in Thailand, dtac, found that 91% of children who responded had experienced online bullying, while a recent UNICEF study recorded an increase in cyberbullying in Malaysia despite higher awareness of the issue and more activities in place to combat this.
Commenting on this milestone, Håkon Bruaset Kjøl, Head of External Relations Telenor Asia said: “Over the past ten years, Telenor’s child online safety projects in Asia have helped youth enjoy online life safely, irrespective of gender or economic background. While this year digital tools and platforms have offered a lifeline for many, the jump into an online world has also increased the vulnerability of young people. The active role Telenor takes to build digital resilience and work with global partners to educate on the safer use of digital services and platforms is more relevant today than it has ever been.”
These two latest launches mean DigiWorld is now available locally across all of Telenor’s Asia markets, including local language versions in Thailand, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar. The launch of local platforms, adapted to local market realities and available in local language, have proven an important way of reaching those that need it the most.
10 years of child online safety in Asia
Over the past ten years, together with global partners including UNICEF, PLAN International and local organisations, Telenor has trained nearly 4 million children in how to safely explore the online world at their fingertips.
In this time, child online safety conversations have evolved from in-person educational sessions to gamified learning and integration into national curriculums. Over the decade, Telenor has made digital portals, interactive educational games and online guides available for children, teachers, parents and caregivers to increase awareness on this ever-relevant topic.
Telenor Group’s operators are pioneers of child online safety in each of their respective markets. It introduced child online safety activities to the Asia markets it operates in back in 2010, with its mobile operator in Malaysia, Digi. Today, DigiWorld is recognised by the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as a best practice example of how to work in partnership to deliver effective child online safety program.
In addition to the global DigiWorld curriculum, Telenor’s child online safety initiatives also include its Be Smart Use Heart programme, aimed to provide children and parents with information and tools on how to cope with cyberbullying, how to stay safe online and keep mobile devices secure.