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Today is Safer Internet Day


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By Yury Fedotov

Today is Safer Internet Day. A day celebrated globally each year to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.

This year’s theme for Safer Internet Day is ‘Create, Connect and Share Respect: A better internet starts with you’. 

It is a suitable day to reflect upon how the internet is a tool for peace, freedom of speech and for economic prosperity.

An instrument that is bringing the world closer together.

But along with the tremendous benefits of the internet come risks—today is a unique opportunity to raise awareness of those challenges, and to highlight the efforts of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to reduce their malicious impact.   

On Safer Internet Day, UNODC is helping to broaden awareness of online sexual exploitation, to which children and women are particularly vulnerable.

Our Global Program on Cybercrime, combined with our Education for Justice Initiative, is shining a powerful light on these most pernicious of crimes.

Sextortion, when self-generated sexual images are used to extort, and non-consensual sharing of intimate images cause real harm every day around the world. 

We are proud to partner with governments, the private sector and Non-Governmental Organisations to help keep girls, boys, women and men safe online.

No one person, entity or government has the perfect solution; but by working together we can, and are, making a difference.

At the United Nations, we are working to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development containing 17 goals complimentary to enhancing peace, security and wellbeing for all.

On Safer Internet Day, we can make an invaluable contribution to sustainable development through the creation of a safe, just, open society for our children.

The internet is a tool for peace and we must all work tirelessly to make it safe for successive generations.

I wish you all, wherever you are in the world, a safe internet day.

(The writer is the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.)


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