UNESCO has joined No Bully, Microsoft, Hasbro, Facebook and AT&T and other partners, in announcing the formation of Power of Zero, a collaborative campaign dedicated to teaching children from the earliest ages how to be compassionate, resilient and inclusive online. The campaign grew from a recognition that global action is needed to respond to rising levels of online bullying.
“While there is a lack of global data on cyberbullying, we know that if affects as many as one in ten children in some regions. We also know that incidents of cyberbullying are increasing. In seven European countries, the proportion of children aged 11-16 years who use the internet reporting that they had experienced cyberbullying increased from 7% in 2010 to 12% in 2014,” said UNESCO Chief of Health and Education, Christopher Castle.
"UNESCO is proud to support Power of Zero, ensuring all children and young people have the knowledge and skills they need to navigate the digital world safely, and with civility and respect towards others on and offline."
Young children are getting online earlier in increasing numbers. In the United States, 98 percent of children age eight and under now live in a home with some type of mobile device. They spend an average of two-and-a-quarter hours a day with screen media. In the United Kingdom, more than 30 percent of children age five or below own their own tablets. Throughout the European Union, internet usage by younger school-aged children is now equivalent to internet use by tweens’ three to four years ago. According to a 2018 European Commission qualitative study of families in 21 European Nations, young children have their first contact with digital technologies and screens below the age of two.
Power of Zero aims to help parents, caregivers and educators guide their children’s use and behavior, laying the groundwork for children to develop the digital citizenship skills that will help protect them from cyberbullying and the risks that come from easy connectivity to others across the world.
The partnership will be officially launched in January 2019, with resources developed by Power of Zero and educational partner Scholastic available on Powerof0.org and distributed to schools globally, including the UNESCO Associated Schools Network. Resources will incorporate learning materials and games that will help children understand the internet and prepare them to thrive in a digital world.
- Learn more about what UNESCO does on school violence and bullying.