The knock on effect of the lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic is that millions of children are at increased risk of harm as their lives move increasingly more online. In fact, an eye-opener is:
The coronavirus pandemic has led to an unprecedented rise in screen times – Global Partnership to End Violence Executive Director Dr. Howard Taylor.
The closing of many schools and the implementation of stricter containment measures has resulted in more families relying on technology and digital solutions to keep children learning, entertained and connected to the outside world. But how to find online safe places?
This has resulted in the continuation of education, albeit in a different format, but not all children are “streetwise” or rather, “online wise” enough to have the necessary knowledge, skills and resources to keep themselves safe while on the internet. Do they know enough to qualify online safe places?
1.6 Billion children Affected
About 20% of people on the planet, all children and young people, have been affected by school closures worldwide.
So how do students spend their time now?
Not only are these students taking classes online, but because they have restricted access to their peers and friends, they are socializing more online as well.
This has resulted in millions of children being exposed to online sexual exploitation and grooming, as predators look to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lack of face-to-face contact with friends, extra mural sports and other get togethers has led to more time on line and this added exposure to heightened risk-taking such as sending sexualized images, and other explicit material.
This exposes children to potentially harmful and violent content as well as putting them at a greater risk of cyberbullying.
Creating A Safer Online Environment
Our dream at EnglishForward.com is to create a modernized environment for students of all ages to interact and connect in a safe way, free from exploitation and cyberbullying.
In fact, we have been doing this for more than 18 years very effectively, along with our moderator partners from all walks of life, that believe in giving back to students by helping them with their English language studies. The platform does not tolerate any form of cyberbullying whatsoever.
The next step in our evolution as the largest English language community online is to modernize the platform and build the next generation of the app on a blockchain platform, which will help in the control of who is allowed to interact with vulnerable students, as well as increasing the security to assist our volunteers that help the students every day.
We have a robust, proven platform, that with the implementation of a blockchain system would create an environment the UNICEF and its partners (Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), WePROTECT Global Alliance, World Health Organization (WHO), and World Childhood Foundation USA) are looking for.
The platform is free to use, but we need funding to create this safe environment, and the backing of the relevant stakeholders to implement it in schools around the world.
To date EnglishForward.com has served over 300 million students, and the opportunity exists to protect them all, with the help of global stakeholders.