“Now every parent in Ukraine has the opportunity to consult with experts on the problems of violence on the Internet: suicide incitement, cyberbullying, sexting, fraud and more. The line of consultative support will allow implementing the achievements of the international community in child protection in Ukraine. I believe that this is an extremely important social initiative, which should be known in every Ukrainian family,” – commented Mykhailo Shelemba, CEO of Datagroup, on the implementation of the Child Online Safety Line.
On September 15, the Child Online Safety Consultation Line 1545 (and then select 3) was launched in Ukraine. The line was established by the Government Contact Center in partnership with the educational project #STOP_SEXting with the support of the telecom operator Datagroup together with the Patronage Service of the Vice Prime Minister – Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for Children's Rights.
The Consultation line is primarily aimed at children who have encountered problems online and at adults whose children have problems on the Internet. However, anyone who is interested in child safety on the Internet can call and get a consultation. Adults can also get qualified advice on the specifics of the technical settings of applications that children use in the digital environment.
“As a socially responsible company and one of the leading players in the country's telecom market, we understand that today the protection of children on the Internet is a need. Therefore, this is not the first initiative on child protection online that we support. In the future, we also plan to implement educational programs or projects in this direction,” – Mykhailo Shelemba emphasizes.
The line is an important and relevant tool for child protection in Ukraine. In order to be effective, the Cyber Police Department provided advice on police involvement in cybercrime investigations and explained step-by-step response mechanisms in cases where cybercrimes are committed. After all, according to the SWGfL study, during the quarantine period, teenagers began to spend 80% more time online, and sexual exploitation of children on the Internet doubled. At the same time, the ITU study notes that more than 85% of Ukrainian adults do not know where to address in case of problems in the digital environment.
“In order to protect children from online violence, different countries of the world are joining efforts, because the Internet has no state borders. Similarly, the risks to children on the Internet have no borders in any country, so it is particularly valuable that the government and business, the private and public sectors have joined forces to create a consultation line,” – explains Anastasia Dyakova, National Expert on Child Protection against violence, who works in the team of the Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for Children's Rights.
Line 1545 specialists (and then select 3) work 24/7 and provide information on safe behavior in the digital environment to prevent violence, rights violations and other abuses on the Internet, as well as ways to respond to negative online experiences.
It will be recalled that Datagroup cybersecurity specialists participate in the development and implementation of the National Strategy for the Child Protection in the Digital Space 2020-2026 – Safe Internet in Educational Institutions. In 2019, Datagroup supported the first all-Ukrainian action #STOP_SEXting within the framework of the International Safer Internet Day. Especially for the #STOP_SEXting campaign, the team of the Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for Children's Rights together with the Kyiv Cyberpolice Department, Ranok Publishing House with the support of Internet partner Datagroup initiated the development of a school lesson on protecting teenagers from sexual risks on the Internet “Naughty selfie on the Internet – is it a joke or a dangerous risk?”