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Children make up one third of global users on the internet.
Barnardos is calling on the next Government to prioritise services and supports to vulnerable and at risk children.
The Covid19 crisis has had an impact on all children; but children who are vulnerable or at risk have found the restrictions particularly hard. For these children home may not be a safe or happy place. They rely on access to services such as family support, mental health services and meal programmes. These are the children Barnardos wants the next Government to prioritise.
Children bore the brunt during the last recession, when vital support services were cut and the percent of children living in poverty doubled, and many are still living with the consequences. Children must not bear the brunt of this crisis. Instead, the incoming Government should invest in services for children and maximise existing resources by incorporating innovative responses.
The next Programme for Government must protect and prioritise vulnerable children by ensuring access to services in their own communities such as specialist family support and mental health triage; establishing national protections such as a Court Welfare Service; and ensuring equitable access to education. Please read our Programme for Government 2020 asks:
On Safer Internet Day 2020, Children and Youth Charities (Barnardos, Children’s Rights Alliance, CyberSafeIreland, Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, One in Four, the ISPCC and SpunOut.ie) joined forces to highlight child safety online, and the need for online safety for children and young people to remain a high priority in the next Programme for Government.
Building on the progress already made by Government, the children’s and youth charities have come together to focus attention on the issues that need addressing across three areas including regulation, empowerment/education, and enforcement; and to propose their recommendations to the new Government to be undertaken in their first 100 days.
Children make up one third of global users on the internet. Most children and young people accessing the digital world have enjoyable and positive experiences. They use the online world to maintain friendships, have fun, support their education and learn about their world. At the same time, the digital world can pose serious threats to the development and protection of children and young people.
Online safety is now the child protection issue for our time.
Please read our online safety Programme for Government asks.
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