(MENAFN - Bangladesh Monitor) Dhaka: Grameenphone, Telenor Group and UNICEF have partnered to strengthen and scale online protection for children in Bangladesh by signing a partnership agreement at InterContinental Dhaka on July 4.
Dara Johnston, Deputy Representative, OIC (office in charge), UNICEF, Ole Bjorn Sjulstad, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Grameenphone and Manisha Dogra, VP, Sustainability Asia, Telenor Group, were present on the signing ceremony, among others.
'UNICEF works to ensure that every child in Bangladesh is protected and free from all forms of violence, exploitation and abuse. All children in Bangladesh must be able to use the internet safely by being equipped with the skills and being able to use the internet in an enabling environment,' said Dara Johnston, Deputy Representative, OIC (office in charge), UNICEF.
Under the agreement, the project titled 'Strengthening and Scaling Child Online Protection in Bangladesh' will train 1.2 million children and adolescents to stay safe online. Sensitising parents is also a key to the project objective as some parents prevent their children from accessing the internet due to fears about what they could be exposed to, denying children the opportunity to benefit from the internet.
The project will train 400,000 parents, teachers and caregivers to support child online protection.
It will also reach 20 million people through an integrated communications campaign which supports awareness of child online protection and will engage at least 50,000 people in taking supportive action. The project will convene policy stakeholders to agree on a plan to mainstream awareness on child online protection in Bangladesh.
Ole Bjorn Sjulstad, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Grameenphone Ltd. said, 'At Grameenphone, we initiate this Child Online Safety campaign every year to strike a balance and create a safer digital experience for children. We want our future generations to be equipped and well versed about their responsibilities over the internet. It is important that they take advantage of internet for leaning and understand the significance of being smart and using their heart.'
The partnership will also address offline protection issues through its focus on creating sustainable and embedded solutions inside schools. This will support creating a forum or Safe Clubs within participating schools where child protection issues can be addressed.
'Telenor Group believes that connectivity can empower societies and reduce inequalities. As part of our global commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 10 Reducing Inequalities, we are committed to educating four million children on child online safety across our markets by 2020 and today's partnership is an important contributor to this endeavour. We are proud to have UNICEF as our global partner since 2014, collaborating on various projects focusing on children's rights and developing skills for a digital future,' said Manisha Dogra, VP, Sustainability Asia, Telenor Group.
UNICEF Bangladesh, Grameenphone and Telenor have been collaborating since 2018 to help ensure children, parents and caregivers are aware of how to use the internet safely and to minimise risks through the program titled 'Be Smart, Use Heart'.