March 26, 2012

ARTICLES / INTERNET: In Viet Nam, Internet access creates opportunities and safety challenges alike

HANOI, Viet Nam, 16 March 2012 – Over the last decade, the dramatic increase in access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Viet Nam has brought unprecedented opportunities – including online learning and connecting with local or global communities – to adolescents and young people.
But this development has also come with a range of digital risks. Cyber-bullying, defamation, exposure to sexually explicit content and privacy violations are just some of risks young users can encounter online, especially when they are ill-prepared and unprotected by legislation. However, too little is still known or done about the use of ICTs and the potential digital safety risks faced by adolescents in Viet Nam.
These risks can best be mitigated, and the benefits best be promoted, by better understanding children’s ICT usage patterns, educating users and supporting national policies to embracing the digital age. UNICEF, in partnership with Yahoo! and the Government of Viet Nam, is gathering information about how young people use ICTs. UNICEF is also collaborating with Junior Reporters’ Clubs throughout the country to conduct interviews, collect opinions and document children and young people’s experiences of Internet use.
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