IGF 2019 – Day 3 – Saal Europa – WS #95 Tackling Cyberbullying on Children with Digital Literacy

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Berlin, Germany, from 25 to 29 November 2019. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 



>> MODERATOR: Hello, everyone.  Welcome to this session.  I hope you all had a good lunch.  As you can see, this session is focused on children, and specifically cyberbullying in this digital age.  And we aim to take the perspective of children and using rights‑based approach, especially in adopting digital literacy to try to respond to cyberbullying against children.  And we have a very wonderful panel here today.

On my left, we have my colleague from UNICEF, sorry if I say his name wrong.  Steven Vosloo and Jutta Croll, distinguished experts in this field.  And we also have Kamala Adhikari from Nepal.  And we have a child representative here in the house, you know, 13 years old.  And last but not least, a private sector representative from the tech giant Tencent in China.  It is Mengchen Gao.  We know that bullying is an issue facing millions of children.  Nowadays, it doesn't only occur in schools on campus, or in playgrounds.  They actually follow kids in the bathroom, you know, in their pockets, because they're using all kinds of digital devices.  So cyberbullying is actually a very serious issue.

The prevalence of cyberbullying, a lot of different data in different countries, we cannot deny, it is a global issue and different sectors need to work together to prevent and respond to cyberbullying against children.  That is why we're working with our partner, China Federation of Internet Societies to co‑organize this workshop at IGF.

So first, without further ado, I would like to introduce my partner at the China Federation of Internet Societies.  Ms. Xiuyun Ding to help us set the scene.  Give us a brief idea of how cyberbullying is, at least in the China context.  So please, the floor is yours.

>> XIUYUN DING: Okay.  Thank you for waiting.  Good afternoon, everyone.  I am the Rapporteur from CFIS.  It is my honor to be here to share our report to everyone.  As just introduced by the moderator, our workshop organized by CFIS and UNICEF China.  I'm sure there is no one that doesn't know UNICEF, but allow me to briefly introduce CFIS.  The full name is China Federation of Internet Societies.  CFIS is a national nonprofit organization from domestic organizations and related institution in the field of network security and information.

The purpose of CFIS to actively play the role or bridge to coordinate to the source of all parties in society.  Promote the development of Internet social organizations, what are the strengths and strengthen their role.  Guide them to learn from each other and make common improvement.  And enhance individual vitality and improve the overall level of work.  Now, let's go back to the report.

It's necessary to let you know that as a practice of this workshop, the service was completed with the help of bang, and education technology company that focus on primary and secondary education with more than 400 million active users in their platform.

In this forum, more than 58,000 users participate in the surveys.  And 45,000 questionnaires were collected.  The participant was age 6 to 18.  The questionnaire focus on four fundamentals, that is basic information, the way children ‑‑ the way children use to tackle cyberbullying, the extent of awareness and digital literacy.

To save time, let's skip straight to the survey.  In China, social media is the main online menu for children followed by games and short video platforms.  According to the report, 89.1% of them interacted socially online.  Cyberbullying awareness of 73% of children surveyed.  Cyberbullying affected 8% of them and 72.2% of their friends.  49% of them were reported by children that were more likely to communicate the issue to others for help.

In terms of children online media literacy, 13% of children do not how to socialize healthily.  14% are unaware of randomly filling out personal information.  25% of children do not know how to deal with negative emotion.

Through this single survey, we believe that improving online digital literacy is an important way to protect children.  We hope to call on children, parents, school, enterprise, society and Governments to jointly pay attention to and solve this problem through this workshop.

Now I give it back to Wenying Su.

>> MODERATOR: This is a glimpse of the magnitude of this issue and ‑‑ this magnitude and also give us pointers of what to do next.  I think it is important for us to listen to children's voices on how bullying affecting their lives and you know, what do they think.  So that is why we invited Mengchen here to share his views, you know, his points.  So Mengchen.  Hand it over to you.

>> MENGCHEN GAO: Thank you, I'm Mengchen, 13 years old, I'm from Beijing.  It is my honor to talk about my experiences of cyberbullying.  Cyberbullying is something of which I have a lot to say.  As a millennial, I and my friends are growing up in the world of Internet.  According to Pew Research center, 95% of teens age 12 to 18 have access to a smartphone.  And 45% of that same group say they're online almost constantly.

All the data shows that our generation has an extremely (shuffling)

close connection with the Internet in our daily life.


In China, I can use my smartphone or laptop to study online courses.  Download films with 4K resolution, see fascinating scenery from a friend that travels the countryside and get resources to anything I needed while preparing this speech.  (Shuffling)

connected us with people and the world in unprecedented way.  We are very lucky to live in an age in which the Internet is this developed.  However cyber space is not always filled with surprises and amazing views.  Usually we are exposed to both the good part and bad part of it at the same time.

Sometimes I'm so astonished by the sheer amount of viciousness imposed by a single person or on a child in the Internet.  I can't imagine how a child at my age could suffer from so many hateful words, hateful speeches and threats.  Sadly such stories are happening around the world.

Some time ago, a classmate of mine called himself a nickname.  It stuck, being the way most schools are, everyone anyhow about it.  He didn't want that nickname after a while, but everyone kept on calling him that online and offline, it started to become a meme in the school.  Well, is it unfair?  Yes, you respect.  However, when words are used to folk fun and attack others, it becomes a form of violence and should be avoided.  Luckily, he hasn't taken any of it seriously.  He knows we are just messing around with each other and don't mean it.

Also, he's a strong person and wasn't afraid to play dirty.  He just told the teacher.  But not everyone who gets cyberbullying is so lucky.  Little over a month ago, 25‑year‑old actress sully committed suicide in her apartment.  In my opinion, this was murder.  She was murdered by those that cyberbullied for two years.  I have known her and my friends have seen her shows.

While digging around on the all‑powerful Internet, she was reported to go out with a date 14 years older than her.  There were criticism abuse and curses bothered the girl.  She started to have depression and behave rebelliously.  People said she had broken up, taken drugs.  She didn't seem to care.  In fact, every mean comment was chippy away at what remains of her self‑confidence.  She chose a tragic way to end her life.

I feel terrible for her and her family.  Sully's tragic story reminds us in a crucial way that how destructive cyberbullying can be on a person, especially on a child who hasn't been strong enough to deal with all of the harm.

I have never been a victim of cyberbullying, however, I have seen enough examples.  I hope that my friends, idols and loved ones should never have to go through that again.

I also hope that teachers and parents should help us from now on.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Mengchen.  That was very powerful.  And we thank you very much for sharing that with us.  And indeed, cyberbullying can be really, you know, terrible experience, and not every kid has the resilience like your friend you mentioned.  That, you know, he toughed up.  You know a lot of support is needed to help children going through cyberbullying,  and one important tool is through digital literacy with us, thank you.  We will talk to my colleague Steven.

>> STEVEN VOSLOO: Thank you, I will briefly talk about work we have recently done at UNICEF on digital literacy and I will end with a few final thoughts.  So we released a report frequently, for digital literacy for children, looking at different definitions and frameworks.

The report started as an expert to give UNICEF more on digital literacy.  It became something bigger than that.  We wanted to share it to be part of the global discussion on this topic.

So we wanted to look at a definition of digital literacy, look at existing frameworks that are out there and how they can respond and better understand UNICEF's names.  When we say "UNICEF."  We mean the countries and Governments in which UNICEF works.  So this is the definition that we proposed actually.  It looks quite familiar to all of you.  Digital literacy refers to the knowledge, skills, attitudes that allow children to flourish and thrive in an increasingly global digital world being both safe and empowered in ways that are appropriate to their age and local cultures and context.

The last bit in bold is maybe what is different to many other digital literacy explanations.  It is important to know, digital literacy is all encompassing, it is the skills, knowledge , attitudes, it covers cyberbullying and issues of online safety.  It is empowering also.

I think I will skip this one.  This was interesting.  So this is, again, this is broadly speaking.  Digital literacy is rarely evaluated, and we know we need a lot more data.  In the space, it is great to have, you know, research like the global kids online doing a multiple country analysis of how children use technology.  But in general, you are right, it is still fairly new in the way it is taught and practiced.

Children's digital literacy strongly depends on children's social environment.  That is also very important to keep in mind.  And that there is a need for a lot more collaboration and coordination in this space.

I will show you briefly, we interviewed 37 UNICEF country officers, reporting on 40 different initiatives.  That first point, the focus, 25 were aimed at building competency, 19 focus on Internet safety.  And that is often, you know, for UNICEF, a lot of our work so far is digital literacy is on online safety and cyberbullying.  You see the barriers from teachers or education folks.  It is very common.  We recognize the lack of ICT infrastructure, teachers, trainer capacity, parent capacity and parental involvement.  Low connectivity, lack of understanding from decision‑makers on the importance of this issue.

And in terms of their needs, policy guides lines, competency framework, curriculum guidelines and practical tools.  There is a lot of work to do.

I will show you this diagram.  For an organization like UNICEF, we see digital skills as part of a bigger skill set, which most organizations are beginning to recognize.  We did, in this report, we don't think UNICEF needs to necessarily come up with its own framework.  There are excellent frameworks out there that we identified the Dig Con from Europe is one.  Council of Europe, DQ institute from Singapore.  There is a lot of good work being done out there.  And I'll just end by saying for the topic, you know, for this particular topic, tying it back to cyberbullying.  It is an essential skill for children to be safe and empowered online.  It could empower children to recognize cyberbullying for what it is.  And to kind of give it a name and realize it does happen online.

Many of the digital literacy frameworks emphasize digital citizenship, which is important.  Because it teaches issues around qualities of tolerance, empathy.  Which help people to be nicer to each other, basically online.  It is important.  But I think it is equally important to remember that it is digital literacy is one part of a holistic effort that needs to happen against cyberbullying.  I was thinking if you only focus on digital literacy it is like giving children a bullet proof vest.  It protects them to a certain point, but doesn't stop the bullets.  It is a holistic solution we need.  We need to address the cyberbullying reasons, peer‑to‑peer violence, domestic issues, loneliness.  We need to look at the support of social environment and positive role modelling that comes from parents and others.  This is a clear message from global kids online.  It is not just a child and digital device.  There is a world around that child.  And technical solutions.  There is interesting work being done.  We heard earlier from Facebook around using artificial intelligence, you know, to from an algorithm perspective, scan huge amounts of data and pick up messages.

Instagram has a new feature whereas you are typing a comment in real‑time, if it picks up words that could be harmful, it flags those.  It prompts you as a user, are you sure you want to say this, it may be harmful.  They had high success rates.  After the messages, I forget the number, it is 20 or 30% or less still send the message.  It is a powerful way to reduce this.  The point is really, it is a holistic solution.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Steven.  Absolutely.  I agree.  It is ‑‑ it is not digital literacy ‑‑ it is in itself, you know, a holistic approach.  Because it includes not just knowledge and skill, but also attitudes, social, emotional learning, all that.  And a lot of bullying, you know, no matter is online or offline, it has underlying causes.  That is those causes we need to look into and find effective solutions to, you know, address.  So it is one dimension to log into digital literacy.  That a way, it is probably something we can start now and really work with children to develop the framework and, you know, how to embrace the concept and really learn with them.

With that, we also, you know, Jutta, please share your views with us.

>> JUTTA CROLL: Thank you moderator, for the floor.  I don't need my slides now, to let you know, because I'm supposed to speak about children's rights later on.  I will now give a brief thoughts to the discussion.  And what you referred in if your last sentence, Wenying Su, be it online or offline, the bullying.  It is necessary to be aware that there has always been bullying among children, sometimes also among adults.  What we need to consider is whether there are more severe consequences when it happens online?  It is of course anything that was said in a classroom or school court, children can maybe easily walk away when cyberbullying happens to them, on their smartphone, they carry it on them.  And probably they still carry it when they are in the bedroom, and still are somehow connected to these bad and hurtful messages.

This has more deeper impact than it has when they are just words said in the school court.  Still, we need to bear that in mind.  Wherever social interaction happens, there are always arguments and also conflicts.  We could try to learn how to solve those conflicts in the analog and the real world and try whether to understand if that could be helpful.  Of course, communication among the children, communication with their peers, parents teachers, and so on is definitely one way to cope with that.

So what we see from lots of projects that have been run during the course of the years and from my organization, we started nearly 20 years ago, working on bridging the digital divide.  From the beginning we were confronted with the debate on what about children?  What are they doing there?  How can we protect them.  So what we learned is digital literacy is a very useful instrument.  Children have learned a lot of lessons that we have been teaching them over the years.  But still, we need to go a step further.

For example, when we taught them in digital literacy courses not to give away the name of their school, their private address, so on, they have learned that now.  But of course, they still give away this data because they use devices that give away the Department of Transportation without the children being aware of it

So that brings me to the point that we need to assess what digital literacy messages are useful to address cyberbullying.  I wanted to refer to some of the data that were presented in this morning in a session where the other UNICEF report was presented.  And it was very clear that from global kids online, we know that of course, there is a lot of risk.  Not all risk results or transfers into harm.  And even though many children are aware of cyberbullying, only a few of them have really experienced to be bullied and only a few say yes, I have been a bully.  If it is 7 to 10%, that is 10 a huge number of children who face this problem.  That is why we have to address it.

What we also learned from these studies is parents usually don't tend so much to talk to their parents about the issue because they fear the restriction to access of the Internet.  For them, it is more of a problem to have restricted access than facing sometimes problems in interaction with their piers.  It is also various evidence that the more restrictive parents are, somehow, the children are weaker then.  Because if they ‑‑ if they can't learn to cope with all the risks that are out there, they are probably in a weaker position when something happens to them.

We also see that the older children are, if you look at the teenager group, so those who are aged 10 to 12, min, they have less experience cyberbullying than those who are 14 to 16, for example.

This is also due to their differences in the usage.  So during puberty, they are more and more acquainted to present themselves a little more to other people on the Internet.  The more exposed they are of course, the risk grows higher that they are also affected by cyberbullying.  Still, I would say this is part of their personal development.  They needed to try out what is my individuality?  And how do people react to what I do on the Internet?  So we need a very balanced approach.  They on the one hand have the opportunities that are available on the Internet nowadays, develop their personality on the one hand and still to be protected.

I will leave it with there and the right to be protected in the second part of the session.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.  Actually, to anchor what you said about the parents, this morning, at this kids online session I briefly talked about this online going study that we're doing in China.  Basically the kids online China.  And some preliminary findings is that of those children who are self‑reported that they're bullied, 74% of their parents don't know about it.  Of the children who are saying they're bullying other children, 80% of their children don't know about it.  Basically, ignorant of what is going on.  That is a big, you know, problem.

I also agree that it actually is an issue that needs multisector involvement.  We cannot just rely on developing and teaching children digital literacy that they magically protect themselves from cyberbullying.  We will come back to it in the second part of the discussion.  Before that, we also, you know, welcome Kamala from Nepal to give us an overview of how the situation, you know, in Nepal.  Thank you.

>> KAMALA ADHIKARI: Thank you.  Indeed it is very important for everyone, including children to learn and enhance their knowledge by using different ICT tools.  (Shuffling)

even though there is challenges to the children.  There is the illegal content, the videos on Internet for children and sometimes people do abuse and bully the children.  If bullying, if children feel bullying, children suffering from hedge health problem and higher risk of suicide and attempts.

So to reduce cyberbullying to let you know the importance of Internet and let the children know their importance of privacy and not support ‑‑ even with the friends.

Not to leave (?) on the Internet and keep children using mobile computer can keep in public place at homes where parents can regularly monitor.  And (?) on Internet.

If there is any bullying, any children can talk with their parent or anywhere and is helpful for colleagues.  Other hand, many stakeholder can contribute to reduce the cyberbullying.  Like Government, national organizers, law enforcement agencies, Educators, Civil Society and (?)

They can also provide digital literacy, RNS, and like this.  And other hand to reduce cyberbullying, the levels vary.  For increase digital literacy and minimize cyberbullying.  Our organize for the quality and develop the mechanisms, (?) with the collaboration with the London based organization on Internet importance.

People who suffer from cyberbullying can go to the complaint of who have cyberbullying portals or can go to the website and we provide the legal and technical support to them.  And we will provide the counseling to the children and their parents.  We also providing the language counseling.  We are launching our website on Nepal medium on the national language on (?) 2020, which is very helpful for the people to understanding that education and digital literacy and they is solve ‑‑ they can solve the problem, if there is cyberbullying, then they can solve the problem.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you kamala for painting us a comprehensive picture of how Nepal is dealing with cyberbullying and all the response mechanisms.

And also you basically set the scene for our next topic, you talk about you know, the police, that education sector, all the other relevant sectors, what their roles and how they responded to the issue.  So to kickoff the next topic which is the roles and responsibilities of different sectors, different stakeholders in terms of prevention and response to cyberbullying.  We first welcome our colleague at Tencent, Ms. Zhao Chengdeng, to share with us how Tencent as a big Internet company has to offer in terms of tackling cyberbullying.

>> ZHAO CHENGDENG: Hello, everyone.  Thank you so much for having me here today.  I am delighted to have the opportunity to participate in this event and on behalf of Tencent to deliver thinkings and practice in helping children to deal with cyberbullying, digital literacy, education.

Before my speech, I invite you to share with me a video clip.  Sorry.  This video clip has been selected from talk show which produced by Tencent News, also belong to our company.

It is based on a true story, the interview suffered 10 years bullying.  She shared the story with the host and audience about how this bullying changed her life.

(Video with captions)

(No English translation)

>> ZHAO CHENGDENG: Thank you for watching the video was from a talk show named Talk To Her, produced by Tencent News.  The video is where she shared her story about her decade‑long bullying that she have suffered.  A bad joke was instantly spread and got worse and worse.  In an unpredictable way.  What became a party for many people, but a nightmare for her.  That cyberbullying lasted for 10 years in empowering her psychology, physical health, studies, careers, families.  Resulting in irreparable and malicious harm to her life.  As the host of the video said, maybe everyone gave just a little to the fire.  But the fact is the house is burned down by now.

As we know cyber violence, cyberbullying is a wide scope and it is uncontrollable and it is cruel.  It is difficult to be attacked and managed.  Moreover, cyberbullying is very easy to turn into offline violence.

With the (?) Internet and smart devices, younger age victims are more prevalent.  The problem of Internet safety by children is increasing.  This May, the blue book of teenagers, annual report on the Internet use of Chinese Internet minors, 2019.  Was doing a published by the Institute of Journalism and Communication of Chinese Academy of Social Science, the Town of Teenager and Children Development Service Center.  The China National Use Association and Social Science Academy Price.

According to the report, in China, 28.89% of the minors on the Internet have encountered violence and abuse information.  This slide shows the ratios of different bullying.  Difference faced online.  And we also find out the most situation children face cyberbullying is in the social software, network communities and live streaming platforms.

As a technology company, Tencent pay attention to digital safety of minors and online protection with the belief of attack for good.  We focus on two priority.  Safe Internet serving and housing Internet serving.  Based on years of research and practice, which outlines the advantage of our business and the platform and take the lead in launching a project for the protection of minors' rights, we call it Tencent for children, sorry.

This established Internet protection for minors.  Per that promotion and social cooperation, what we want is to create a cyber space where children may learn and serve happy, healthy and safe.

Please allow me to make a detailed introduction from this four parts.  This is radical research.  Education.  And promotion.  And the plan for governance and social cooperation.  The first part is the research.

Tencent for children relies on advantage of our platform and focus on frontiers, the radical research.  Since 2015, Tencent has worked with universities and research institutes to conduct the research on the behavior and online gaming for minors.  Aiming to better clarify the blank spots and key points for cyber protection for young Internet users.

We delivered several reports with authorities this report is focused like the slideshows, focused on online safety, game behavior and digital literacy of children.

This report provide radical support to develop the digital literacy education for minors.

The second part I want to talk about is the activities, which including the product promotion and education.  About the product promotion, we have developed several online literacy education tools.  That integrate our online and offline resources to get knowledge of online literacy.  Such as the digital health growth guides and adolescence network health use guidebook.  Which presents the basic knowledge that children should know when they use the Internet and have information.

And in 2018, we collaborate with Government authorities, universities, experts and third‑parts agencies to launch the DNA project, by providing children with various online courses and learning tools.  We advocate more parents, children, communication and advanced education measures for teaching.

I would like to introduce in particular another project we call it HUMIAO, cybersecurity entering school.  It is against pornography and illegal publications on Tencent.  This project is from 2017.  Has experienced three years of improvement and upgrade and now we already established a comprehensive digital literacy education system which is for children.

HUMIAO offers online and offline courses for students, parents and teachers.  The teaching method including role play of case analysis and we will talk about digital literacy, online self‑protection and reasonable usage of the Internet.  We have reduced vivid case analysis videos and also we use interactive situation teaching methods for our offline license.

Take cyberbullying for example.

This picture is from our training ‑‑ the course for the children.  We will not just as the video from the case study is mostly is from the video.  But we also give the opportunity for children to give role play and the discussion we will ask the children to think about how they should stop bullying others and what they can do if they are being bullied.  This experience will enable students to stand in other's shoes and this experience will enable students to think about the problems and we will give some suggestions and definitions and analysis about cyberbullying to inspire them to come up with their own solution to cyberbullying.

This is some pictures from our offline courses, our course is quite popular.

As I said, this project is from 2017.  And in that year, we already deliver offline courses for more than 30 schools, and covered 17 cities and province.

In 2008, we upload video course about the children's digital literacy, and covered more than 10 million students from the primary and secondary school.  In the same way, have a training course for teachers, perhaps, the teaching method from the teachers of 31 cities and province.  In 2009, we update the course and focus on the literacy course for the students from rural areas and the left behind children.  We already deliver from this September, we already deliver more than 12, 10 ‑‑ it is 12 courses for different schools.

And the third part I will talk about is the platform governance.  By which we want to create a diverse space is harmony and children friendly.

On the left‑hand is the project we call Tencent guardian project.  This is for good and restrict various legal and criminal activities against minors on the Internet by making for yourself Internet resources and the knowledge of the radical research.  We actively conduct legal research about minors' rights and interests.  We work with law enforcement to increase the crackdown of rights and manners on the Internet.  We conducted in‑depth research about the replication of relevant loss, participate in and follow‑up the revision of loss and the regulations, such as law on the protection of minors and explore ways to effectively protect minors.  Also, we use computer vision technology to simulate the facial recognition and help police find lost children.

The other way we enhance the governance is to make report label for the platform.  Take QQ for example.

This is an app for online application, it is popular in China.  QQ for example, in January 2018, we launched exclusive online report label called infringement of minors' rights and interests to improve the effective handling of reporting violations of minors' rights and interests.

The last one, but not the least, I want to talk about ‑‑ talk about the social cooperation.  Tencent for children is a systematic project that requests that the joint participation of the Government companies, media, family, schools, other social forces.  In recent years, Tencent has made constant efforts to unite Government entities, industry counterparts, celebrities, Academies, and others to join the digital literacy education for minors and formed some well‑functioning prohibits.  UNICEF is a global structure partner of Tencent since the end of 2016.  Under the agreement we have been promoting cooperation regarding Internet protection of minors including cybersecurity education, policy advocacy, and research relevant issues.  In 2018, Tencent and Lego also achieved a strategic corporation, we corporate on content and games and promote construction of children digital housing ecology from perspective of product design, education, and policy advocacy.

To better protection of the rights of children in this the digital age.  Take this opportunity at one to ask for all social sectors to join us.  I think everyone responsible for online protection of children.  So welcome and join us.  We should gather to create children protection in cyber space.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Chengdeng.  We are inspired a lot by Tencent, they are actually quite advanced in promoting digital literacy for children in China.  And they have been implementing quite a few initiatives with relative ‑‑ relevant Government agencies in education sectors and, you know, NGOs.  And apart from that, actually, I feel like Tencent and other tech companies could use their technology more in tackling this issue.

You mentioned about the trafficking.  You know, you are using AI to find trafficked children.  That is actually quite impressive achievement because they are using AI, you know, facial recognition technology to find kids who are trafficked a decade ago.  They're using, comparing a photo of a kid who were a baby or only like two years ago, but now they're already a teenager.  So using their technology and, you know, using Government database, they were able to use older photos of small babies to match how they look today and find trafficked children.  That was very impressive.  And I think that is one very good example of how technology can be used for social good and for children.

And we also very happy that you mention how tech sector are willing to work with other sectors including Government, including education sector.  Including parents and children themselveses.  I know Jutta has a presentation prepared for that.  So the floor is yours.

>> JUTTA CROLL: Yes, I would like to bring the discussion back to children's rights.  I think teaching children digital literacy is one very important part, there is also more to be done to protect children's rights.  Can you please bring it up?

Oh, yes, there it is.  Can I please have that?  Thank you.  So most of you who are a bit more familiar with children's rights may know that we have been celebrating the 30th anniversary of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child only last week.  So let me see.  The convention was adopted in 1989 and according to the convention, a child is a person aged under 18 years.  The comment is 54 Articles and three sections and 41 of these Articles define the rights dedicated to the child.  It is the most ratified human Treaty in history with 196 states having committed themselves to respect, protect, fulfill the rights of the child, and they are legally obliged to do so when they have ratified.  To bring to your mind is also that since 1989, we have the World Wide Web, developed by Tim Lee.  That means that everybody has access to the Internet.

So the fathers and managers of the U.N. convention of the rights of the child could obviously not have foreseen that children would use the Internet and to what extent they would use the Internet 30 years later.  But still, when we look into the convention of the rights of the child, we see many aspects that can now be transferred or so to the digital world.  And to explain that a little bit more, we have drawn up the triangle of the child's rights according to the UNLC.  In the center is it the best interests of the child, then rights of protection, rights to provision.  And rights to participation.  When you have a look at the central Article, it is Article 3 that says in all elections children concerning children, the best interest of the child should be a primary consideration.  I think this counts in the digital world.  It is somehow also supported by the European charter on fundamental rights and Article 24 which reads nearly the same like the third Article of the UNCLC.  Coming back to protect, provision and participation, let's have a look into the rights of protection.

So there is a right to information, and Article 17, it is mentioned that children should be protected from information and material injurious to his or her well‑being.  And protection from child labor.  Protection from exploitation.  Looking into the digital environment, of course, we cases with children's rights to be protected from exploitation are infringed.  When they are using several services on the Internet, that might also cause them to be commercially exploited.  Then the right to protection from any form of sexual abuse.  We see that sexual abuse is happening on the Internet.  Or forms violence, protection from all forms of violence.  We see hate speech in the Internet and also, I would say some forms of cyberbullying are a form of violence.  Last but not least, we have the right to privacy in it Article 16.  And I'm also ‑‑ I know that things like face recognition can help to find trafficked children, it is nevertheless an infringement to their right to privacy and therefore, at that point, we need a balanced approach.

Looking at the part of the provisional rights, we have the right to education in Article 28.  We have right to freedom of expression in Article 13 and access to information, as I mentioned before, Article 17.  And all these rights can be excessed while accessing media and can be emphasized when using digital media.

You see protection and provision at the bottom line of the triangle.  This is because if these two parts are fulfilled, the protectional and provisional rights, the child will be empowered to participate in society.

So we have Article 12, respect for views of the children.  Freedom of association, and right to leisure, play, and culture in this Article 31.  And we have debated that extensively Tuesday morning in another session when we balanced it to the right to leisure, play, and culture when we see risks when children are gaming on the Internet.  We need a balanced approach.

What I want to emphasize is the Article 12 respect or use of the child or other phrase, the right to be heard.  And if you look at what is in it this Article 12, you will see that the views of the child shall be given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child and also I would like to quote that the child shall in particular, be provided the opportunity to be heard.

So when we look at cyberbullying, I do think this is ‑‑ a coin with two sides.  On the one hand, we need to talk to young people like Mengchen what he told us about cyberbullying and what they think about cyberbullying where they need to be protected, where they need help and what digital literacy can do to them.

On the other hand, we need also that children are to be heard by the companies that provide these services.  And from it my perspective, I would say we also need to take these companies in responsibility.  They need to make the voices of children heard, not only by providing them opportunities to use the service to communicate with others, but also for example, when they have to complain about other users.  So what we see so far is we have reporting systems, of course, but still this is not so assess to find.  It is in most cases, very difficult for children to use reporting services in many, many cases, they don't get any feedback.  So they just deliver report.  Say okay, I feel cyberbullied but what will happen?  Therefore I suggest that we also not only leave it to literacy, which is in the gamut of the child and teachers, but also in the responsibility of the companies.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Jutta, for bringing us back to, you know, the core of our values, which is child rights.  And you are absolutely right, child rights is a very ‑‑ it is a comprehensive, holistic body of different rights that we need to look at.  And for a lot of problems, children face online, there is all right, you know, we need to balance different perspectives.  Even some of the rights need to be balanced.  And also, I definitely agree that tech companies need to be more accountable and lean ‑‑ I have to say, they're reporting and systems on the platform services are not very satisfactory.

We ‑‑ our children need more child‑friendly, responsive, effective, mechanisms on those platforms and services.  So they can effectively, timely report bullying and other negative experience they have on the Internet.  And those reports have to be dealt with in a timely manner and, you know, follow‑up measures has to be taken.

So there is a lot of ‑‑ people talk about self‑regulation, but probably, that is not enough for the tech sector.  More rigorous policies and laws and regulations might be needed to really effectively address this issue.

So I want to come back to Steven.  Sorry for putting you on the spot again.  We work at UNICEF, we are the advocates of child rights.  As Jutta rightly reminded us, we need to put child rights in the center of how we look at those issues and how we respond to them.  And coming back to cyberbullying, what do you think that with the rights based approach, different, you know, major stakeholder, what they have to do?

>> STEVEN VOSLOO:  Thank you, it is a great question.  I think that what has been said, it is a holistic solution that is needed.

There was a paper that come out last week at an event called FASI, I forth at what it stands for in the U.S.

It is on AI and child protection.  I liked the diagram there.  It is called the ‑‑ something about shouldering or bearing the responsibility.  And there is a block for parents, for tech companies, for Government, for teachers, and so everybody really has a role to play in this.

I think this, coming back to the rights of the child.  That is actually one of the kind of ways that we can always have ‑‑ to use an American expression, your True North.  It is hard, often there is two sides of the same coin.  We see now with AI, a lot of ethical guidelines coming out.  The principles are good principles but you have to make tradeoffs around the principles.  Right now, a very common case or current case of the issue of end‑to‑end encryption whether that should be applied.  It is really, you know, some could argue it is about the right to privacy versus the right to protection, which is more important.  It will take everybody to actually get ‑‑ to get involved in it this.  Some hard decisions will have to be made.  But the best interest of the child, I think if we honestly ask that question, that's a good place to start.  Yeah.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Steven.  Absolutely, you know, all decisions we make in terms of, you know, issues and involving children, we have to bear the best interest of the child at heart.  But that's where it gets difficult, because in every individual case, you have to, you know, determine what is the best interest of the child in that particular case.  And it differs from, you know, every child, every family, every different situation.

So because of that, it actually calls for, you know, action from not just us who are working at UNICEF or child rights organizations or as educators or caregivers, actually it is everybody involved, you know, making a difference or you know, having their roles and responsibilities in helping, you know, the decision‑makers to determine what is the best interest of the child in that case.

So Kamala, I know you also have something to say about the responsibility of the stakeholders.

>> KAMALA ADHIKARI: I previous represent my view.  And most (off microphone)

most responsibility is the parents and schools major responsibility to reduce the cyberbullying and increase the literacy, I think.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.  Thank you very much.

So actually, we like mentioned, there is in China quite a few different approaches in, you know, basically developing contextualized framework of digital literacy for children.  But also for parents as well.  You know, help families and children to navigate, you know, the very complex environment of the Internet today.  And we feel like that's actually a topic that can generate a lot of learning.  And we also want to learn from other countries, other regions, other organizations what they have been doing.  I think it is time for, you know, the global community to really sit together and discuss and try to reach sort of a common consensus approach that we can all kind of, you know, moving towards similar direction.

And ‑‑ like Jutta said, you know, participation is key to child rights.  And we want to, you know, like children to be the center of this discussion as well.  So Mengchen, what is your views about, you know, what we have been saying today?  And as a child yourself, you know, what do you think you can do and what your parents or your teachers, you know, other adults or Tencent could do to help you and support you in navigating Internet and prevent you from, you know, the risk of cyberbullying?

>> MENGCHEN GAO: Well, for us teenagers, I think we should use the Internet adequately.  Get along with others on the Internet.  Don't insult people or behave offensively on the Internet.

If we are the target of cyberbullying or we see someone get cyberbullied, we should speak up and tell the bully to back off.  If they don't do that, we should let a parent know at once and have them be at our side to protect and intervene and to prevent the harmful influence it will have.

One thing when I was watching the video, one thing that I had, well, a big feel for is she said, you don't know who to hate.  I don't know who to trust, and I don't know who to hate.  That is the problem with cyberbullying because cyberbullying is ‑‑ for example, if you get bullied on campus, you know who is bullying you.  You can remember his face, you can tell the teachers and tell authority or just avoid him.  But then you still have friends to help you get through when you are bullied.  But if it cyberbullying and then you feel like the whole world is attacking you.  And you don't know who to trust.  And if you can't trust anyone, you don't have any friends.  And then if you don't have any friends, there is no one to help you get through the bad times.  And that will probably lead to some depression and dark thoughts.

And I hope that the school will start a class that teaches us about the Internet and pros and cons and how to deal with them.  And teachers should teach us about how to protect ourselves and others from cyberbullying.  When we use the Internet inappropriately, the teachers should stop us.  Cyberbullying is an important issue and everyone needs to tackle it together to suppress cyberbullying.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Mengchen, that is very well said.  Especially the part you said that, you know, in the past you know who is attacking you.  But now, it is a faceless, you know, evil, you don't know where to hide.  Because you feel like it is everywhere.  I think that is a very accurate reflection of how children are failing, feeling really lonely, you know, they're scared.  And really, really thank you.  That was very, you know ‑‑ I couldn't have said it better.

So now we have 10 minutes.  We all want to open the floor to questions.  Comments from the audience.

>> AUDIENCE: A quick comment and one question.  By developing some digital literacy process, I always recommend to have participation of young kids or child themselves, because they're the first generation of technology.  So they know the better use of those technology.  That is why in that case, it is always better to make them in the process.  So we can give more better digital literacy if we have stakeholders.

The question is for Jutta, and gentleman from UNICEF.  Using AI technology for face recognition, obviously, it is very important and gives very good solution.  But simultaneously, the privacy of a child is very significant.  So in that case, how we can balance the two things?  One is rights of the protection of child themselves and another is privacy perspective.  So is there any ethical guideline ‑‑ you mention that ‑‑ is there any ethical guideline developed by UNICEF or any organization?  You have any knowledge on that?  That would be awesome.  Thank you very much.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.  I think the question is for you Steven.  But I want to respond very quickly about previously Tencent talk about AI facial recognition, you know, trafficking kids.  But that was a very special case.  And the technology was only used very limitedly for criminal investigation.  It was not really used for all the children.  So it is just for very limited group of children who are potentially trafficked.  Just to clarify that.

>> STEVEN VOSLOO:  Thank you that is a great question.  I will answer quickly to say UNICEF is working on policy guidance for AI and child rights.  We're just starting that process.  Whoever wants to be part of that, chat with me afterwards.  Exactly.  They are good and bad in quotes, or challenging uses of all of the technology.  So the facial recognition, I mean, one has to be very careful and ask the right questions about why is it being done, who owns the data, who protects the data.  You know, is more data being collected than necessary?  I think, you know, you said it well, Jutta, there is a risk in a lot of the situations of in as you protect children, you can also kind of overcollect data.  That is then, you know, you are arriving at the place that isn't good either.  So we do need guidance, but we need people to apply that guidance in a very, you know, in a rights‑based way.  Yeah.  Thank you.

>> JUTTA CROLL: I would say of course, when you track down children that are lost, that is investigation.  That is investigation to use it for good purpose.  On the other hand use facial recognition for monitoring and surveillance.  I would say that in most cases would not be acceptable.  And it is not only due to the infringement of the right of privacy of children, but also because it could give parents, caretakers a fake feeling of safety.  If you think you could with technical solutions, technical instruments ‑‑ I prefer not to talk about solutions, because I don't think they solve a problem alone.

You should be very careful not to give people the feeling that now they ‑‑ that children are completely safe.  They will never be completely safe, whatever tools you implement to monitor or them, there.  That behavior and what about ‑‑ whereabouts and everything.  It is more dangerous to feel safe when you are not than to be aware that there might be some risks.

>> AUDIENCE: Sorry for interrupting.  Thank you very much.  It was extremely interesting.  I'm very happy to I the feeling everybody is a consent here, coming from all parts of the world with all the experiences matching.  And also our young friend's experience.  And I find his approach ‑‑ your approach very appropriate to go directly how to solve the problem.  Meaning going into the schools, going into guidelines and having your friends react, which happened to my children.  That touched me very much because they cut down bullying when it started by friendship.

I think children are learning by playing.  What I was looking while you were speaking on the Internet, if I could find an app store, or something like how to address this digital literacy problem, cyberbullying, having games you can play as a parent with your child, first of all learning the steps how to use the Internet showing ouch, ouch, it could hurt, what to do when it hurts.  I think this is missing, I haven't found it.  Thank you.

>> JUTTA CROLL: I have a short answer for that.  I was responsible for three years on the German Protection For Child on the Internet.  At that time we were considering whether such an app would help children.  We did research from the children themselves listening to what they would like to have.  To be honest, none of the children said they would like such an app.  They said maybe, if you don't download it, it could come with your smartphone, installed on it.  They said, okay, have 150 apps on my smartphone.  I would just switch it to the last page that I never come across to it.  Because I just ‑‑ they didn't like to be confronted with an app that teaches them to avoid what they probably would not like to be.

It is only a small example.  I wouldn't deny the need to teach them digital literacy.  After that research, I'm not sure whether it is the right way to do it via an app.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.  I think that is something Tencent could think about, because I think children play games for fun.  And they could learn from playing games.  As long as it is fun.  But if you say this game is designed to educate you probably, they don't want to play.

We actually have a question from the, you know, online audience.  So ... Alice, can you.

>> MODERATOR: We have a question from online participants.  Asks thank you very much for protecting children from the dangers of Internet.  We would like to know what the panel thinks about the open letter to the world's children in which UNICEF executive Director emphasized that she's worried the future of children because their digital footprint must be protected.  More than 1 in 3 children globally are thought to be regular use ares of the Internet.  More actions to protect children from bullying and exposure to harmful content is suddenly needed.

>> MODERATOR: So actually, we have a colleague from UNICEF, he's in the audience, but I think he might be, you know, able to answer this question.

>> AUDIENCE: Thank you very much.  Maybe I will hold my comment before a respond to this question.  Absolutely, you know, this came out from 84, which shows the commitment that she has on this issue and pushing the organization to do everything we can come our capability to protect children.

We do see the digital space to be a participatory one, where children can flourish.  At the same time, we're cognizant of the risks and some of the issues that come along with being on the Internet.  So protecting the digital footprint definitely is one of the key areas where we are absolutely very, very careful about protecting children's identity online.  And you know, what it means to privacy of children.

If I may, just add to the comprehensive discussions and viewpoints that my colleagues presented earlier on cyberbullying and also to kind of build on what Mengchen Gao mentioned.

Now, the reach, it is something that children that could negotiate in the past, face‑to‑face in the school premises or in the physical locality, the reach has now really become much expansive.  And so just absolutely agree with you.  There are faceless profiles.  But to add to that is something that might start as a prank online, people around the world are not aware of the sensitivities.  There are cultural issues.  We have a whole range of people around the world coming on to a thread or conversation that might have started on a very innocent way, and then it escalates to a very different and serious level.  And that's the nuance of that, you know, that we have with cyberbullying.

With regular bullying, when we have this power dynamics, you know, the power imbalance, reiterative process of, you know, a continued process where this happens.  On cyberbullying part of it, it can be very instantaneous, something very dynamic that can then again can explode.  To finish off with Jutta's comment, I completely agree with what you prevented Jutta.

To add on the privacy part, cyberbullying has a component.  When the information about children are being shared online, their privacy is also under privilege.  Just to acknowledge that part.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: That was very thought provoking.  I think also closed this session very well, because cyberbullying with all its underlying causes, it also ‑‑ we have to look at that into, you know, in the broad context of Internet culture.  How people are behaving online, it is just different from how they behave offline.  There is a lot to think about, and thank you very much, you know, for joining us this afternoon.  And we hope we can continue this discussion in different time, different format.  Thank you.