Interactive Dialogue with the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
As Delivered by Cassie Peters
Human Rights Council – 52nd Session
Thank you, Mr. Vice President.
Thank you, Special Representative M’jid for your tireless dedication to the protection of children.
Digital technology has transformed the lives of children around the world. Technology has helped them learn, play, and socialize like never before.
At the same time, in an increasingly digital world, children are also at a greater risk for online bullying, harassment and abuse, and sexual exploitation and abuse. Often these abuses occur online, across international borders. Children with disabilities are uniquely vulnerable.
According to UNICEF, four out of five children report feeling in danger of sexual abuse or exploitation online. One in five children skip school because of cyberbullying.
We can and must do better to protect our children online.
Establishing safe digital spaces, especially for children and youth, is integral to their economic and societal development. We must meaningfully involve children and youth in the conversation around online safety challenges and uplift their solutions while ensuring internet freedom and protecting fundamental freedoms for people of all ages.
Madam Special Representative, what can Member States do to better protect children online? And what resources can your office provide to assist them?
I thank you.