Every half a second, a child goes online for the very first time. But unfortunately, the internet wasn’t built with children’s safety in mind. At any one time, 750,000 individuals are estimated to be looking to connect with children online for sexual purposes, a challenge so large – and so complex – that no one entity can solve it alone.
That’s why Safer Internet Day is so important. Across the world, organisations, corporations, governments and individuals are demanding a safer online world for children, uniting around the day’s theme of together for a better internet.
End Violence stands united behind this vision of a better, safer internet for children, working with, for and through our partners to make children safe online. Such a movement has never been more essential, as COVID-19 isolation measures have led children to spend more time learning, playing and connecting online than ever before.
As the pandemic continues to spread, End Violence is working with partners worldwide to advocate for and invest resources to keep children safe online. Below, you will find recent examples of how we are working with our partners:
- This month, we teamed up with the Technology Coalition to launch the Tech Coalition Safe Online Research Fund, which is accepting proposals for innovative, actionable research to end online child sexual exploitation and abuse. From now until 11 April 2021, you can apply for this funding round through the application here.
- We welcomed a new cohort of 15 grantees through a $10 million investment to keep children Safe Online, all of whom are focused on utilising artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science to enhance detection and response to online CSEA.
- We partnered with UNICEF’s Innovation Fund and GIGA to invest in technology start-ups to protect children online.
- We joined with our partners in the technology industry, including Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Roblox and Snapchat, to develop a campaign that focused on five practical steps to keep children safe online.
- In November of 2021, we launched a new podcast series, INSPIRING Ways to End Violence Against Children. We spread awareness of the risks children face online by through this podcast, featuring experts like Regina Jensdottir, the Head of the Children’s Rights Division at the Council of Europe. We also published various new resources relating to online violence on our Knowledge Platform and created a series of awareness-raising videos to bring the issue to life.
- We teamed up with parenting experts to create a set of evidence-based resources for parents and caregivers to support their children’s growth – and interact with them constructively – during COVID-19 isolation. One of these resources centred on protecting children’s safety online. Since its release, this package has reached over 136 million people, and have been translated into more than 100 languages.
- At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, End Violence and partners released a technical note and a resource pack to support governments, the technology industry, educators and parents to be alert, take urgent measures to mitigate potential risks, and ensure children’s online experiences are safe and positive during COVID-19.
All of this work builds off four years of keeping children safe online. Since the partnership’s inception in 2016, we have invested $45 million in 53 projects working to prevent and eliminate online child sexual abuse. As always, this impact is made possible by collaborating with our partners, bringing the power of Safer Internet Day’s theme – together for a better internet – to the fore.
That’s also why End Violence is spearheading Together to #ENDviolence, a global campaign and Solutions Summit Series, to catalyse collective action – and political and financial commitments – to protect children both off and online.
This Safer Internet Day, End Violence is celebrating the partnerships that are improving children’s safety in the face of the challenges during COVID-19. Together, we can make a difference for children – and together, we can create a better and safer internet for children.