UNICEF to tackle cyberbullying in Fiji

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) says it will work with relevant authorities in Fiji to create awareness on cyberbullying.

On Thursday, the Pacific Representative of the UNICEF, Sheldon Yett, said that while they do not have exact numbers in Fiji, they are still aware that cyberbullying is an issue faced by young people in the island nation.

“UNICEF will work with Fijian stakeholders, specifically with communities from this year to make young people aware of this threat and how best it can be dealt with.

“Parents need to take a role but so do teachers, so do other community leaders, so do peers.

“Kids need to also look after themselves.

According to him, the internet is a fantastic tool for learning, for participation and for making sure that children’s voices can be heard.

“Ensuring the right of participation is there for children.

“But we also need to make sure that there are safeguards in place and we ensure that nothing is violated.

“Kindness both online and offline is a responsibility that begins with each individual,’’ Yett said.

Online Safety Commissioner, Anne Baleilevuka, said earlier that out of about 90 Fijians, who committed suicide in 2017, several people thought it was the better option due to something they had seen or read about themselves on social media.

Fiji’s Online Safety Commission is working towards building a relationship with key organisations in a bid to prevent suicides in Fiji.

Baleilevuka noted the sensitivities surrounding suicide cases and the impact of social media on suicide-related behaviour.

She said in the same year, seven cases of cyberbullying were reported to the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre. (Xinhua/NAN)

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