7 Feb 2019

Cyberbullying a growing threat to Pacific youth says Unicef

10:07 am on 7 February 2019

Rising levels of cyberbullying in the Pacific have prompted the UN children's agency UNICEF to call on governments, schools, families and children to work towards a kinder internet.

Hacker working on hacking some information. Cyber scam. 13 November 2018

Photo: 123rf.com

The agency said it was important for parents and teachers to talk openly with young people about what they are doing online and give them tools to protect themselves.

UNICEF's Pacific Representative Sheldon Yett said the agency is currently running internet safety programmes in Tonga, that provide peer support to children and information for parents.

"Just as the internet provides an incredible amount of information and tools for young people, we also know that there are high rates of cyberbullying which has a very detrimental impact on the health of young people. So it's important that we are aware of this and we take steps to address it."

Sheldon Yett said there is demand from other Pacific nations for similar internet safety programmes.