UNICEF Free Webinar 2022 about Use of social media by children and adolescents in East Asia


About this seminar 

The Global Development Commons (GDC), the UNICEF Evaluation Office and Office of Research-Innocenti for the #BOURE2020 webinar series presenting the research winning study:

"Use of social media by children and adolescents in East Asia. Opportunities, risks and harms."How can understanding children’s online behaviour inform protection strategies in East Asia?

  • Rachel HarveyRegional Adviser Child Protection, UNICEF East Asia and the Pacific Region  
  • Patrick BurtonCEO, Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention
  • Monica Bulger, Senior Fellow, Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop
  • Hashimah Hashim, Head, Community Engagement Department, Strategic Communications and Industry Relations Division, Malaysian Communications & Multimedia Commission
  • Cathryn AnilaChild Rights Youth Advocate and Founder of Vanguards4change 
  • Daniel Kardefelt Winther,  Research Specialist, Children & Digital Technologies, UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti
  • Kerry Albright, Chief, Research Facilitation & Knowledge Management, UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti


Social media platforms are central to children’s daily lives, but while online platforms can provide a gateway to opportunity, they can also expose children to potential abuse and exploitation. By taking a child-centered, participatory approach, this study researched how children interact with social media, their perceptions of risk, and the steps they take to mitigate online risks. 

Despite the prevalence of internet use by children and adolescents in East Asia, little is known about how they engage with online technology. Even less is known about online engagement among children from hard-to-reach groups. Understanding how children interact with social media and their perceptions of risk is essential to the development of effective strategies to prevent and address online sexual abuse and exploitation. 

In 2019, the UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO) led a pioneering study with the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention (CJCP) to plug gaps in the understanding of online behavioural patterns of children in East Asia. 

The research findings are contributing to a major UNICEF regional initiative to understand what works for messaging and educational materials to help children in East Asia protect themselves online. Launched in 2020, in collaboration with a think tank comprising leading institutions, academics, nongovernmental organizations, the United Nations and private sector partners, the initiative will generate new evidence of how children use online platforms, and perceive and mitigate risks. Securing this in-depth understanding will help to maximize the efficacy of investments in keeping children safe online. 

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