UNICEF South Africa
Strengthening Children’s Online Safety in South Africa
The Fund is helping UNICEF South Africa promote positive Internet use while deterring online violence, exploitation and abuse. From 2018-2022, the agency worked on creating tools on online safety and integrating them into existing programmes and platforms to create awareness among parents, children and communities. This included training religious leaders on children’s rights and violence against children and supporting faith-based organisations to establish child protection reporting mechanisms. In addition, UNICEF South Africa worked with the National Department of Social Development to implement the 365 Days Child Protection Programme, a social mobilisation campaign that is spurring dialogue about violence against children in communities throughout the country.
UNICEF South Africa also conducted a survey on children’s behaviour online according to the Global Kids Online methodology to inform legislative and policy reform and implementation. The findings of this study will inform relevant programme development.
In addition, UNICEF South Africa is boosting the knowledge and skills of children, families and communities to help children safely use the Internet, and is increasing children’s access to victim services, among other activities working to create awareness, identify children exposed to violence, and refer those children to services.
Through new funding by Safe Online in 2022, UNICEF South Africa is working on the Enhancing Child Online Safety Programme. This falls within UNICEF's wider strategy to protect children from violence and exploitation in all settings and builds on UNICEF's continued efforts to support coordinated national responses to OCSEA using the WePROTECT Global Alliance Model National Response as a guide to drive national action.