3 in 10 young people in Malaysia cyber-bullied

Now is the time for our leaders, to listen and take action ...

Sad, not shocked. Twenty-eight percent (28%) out of 6,953 young people in Malaysia polled recently say they have been a victim of online bullying, with 43% of them experiencing it through online games and private messaging and social media apps including Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, YouTube and Twitter.

They were among 170,000 U-Reporters aged 13-24 years old from 30 countries who spoke out anonymously to UNICEF through the youth engagement tool U-Report. These findings are from a poll released by UNICEF and the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on Violence against Children in conjunction with the #ENDviolence campaign.

According to the global poll:

4 in 9 young people in Malaysia said they know about private online groups that are used to bully others.

Only 2 in 7 young people in Malaysia revealed they knew of a helpline to turn to if they are a victim of cyber bullying or online violence.

1 in 5 young people globally reported having skipped school due to cyberbullying and violence.

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“When asked who should be responsible for ending cyberbullying, the opinions were equally divided between governments, internet service providers (private sector) and young people themselves,” said Najat Maalla Mjid, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on Violence against Children. “We are in this together and we must share the responsibility in partnership.”

Some 32 per cent of those polled globally believe governments should be responsible for ending cyberbullying, 31 per cent said young people and 29 per cent said internet companies.

As part of UNICEF’s campaign to #ENDviolence in and around schools, children and young people from around the world drafted an #ENDviolence Youth Manifesto in end 2018, calling on governments, teachers, parents and each other to help end violence and ensure students feel safe in and around school – including calling for protection online.

“All over the world, young people– in both high and low-income countries – are telling us that they are being bullied online, that it is affecting their education, and that they want it to stop,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “As we mark the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC30), we must ensure children’s rights are at the forefront of digital safety and protection policies.”

To end online bullying and violence in and around schools, UNICEF and partners are calling for urgent action from all sectors in the following areas:

  • Implementation of policies to protect children and young people from cyberbullying and bullying.
  • Establishment and equipment of national helplines to support children and young people.
  • Advancement of ethical standards and practices of social network providers specifically in regards to the collection, information and management of data.
  • Collection of better, disaggregated evidence about children and young people’s online behaviour to inform policy and guidance.
  • Training for teachers and parents to prevent and respond to cyberbullying and bullying, particularly for vulnerable groups.

In Malaysia, the Ministry of Education, local NGO Project I.D. and UNICEF are organizing the #ENDviolence Youth Camp happening from 1-3 October 2019. We’ll be selecting 40 children aged 13-17 years old to come together to draft recommendations for an Anti-Bullying School Policy. Selected youth will present the recommendations during a KidsTakeover for World Children’s Day commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Do you agree with these poll results. Share your comments below.

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Bunny Wira

champion for children, hero in disguise. I love kangkung!
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