UNICEF Albania organized a high-level “VIRAL Summit: A better internet for children and adolescents in Albania” to gather and spread innovative ideas, inspire and stimulate immediate action and contribute to the Government of Albania’s Action Plan for a better and safer internet for children.
Around 300 participants from various walks of life, filled the seats of the ViralSummit, the first of its kind in Albania. It was a day-long event that featured panel discussions, lively conversations including children’ and tremendous valuable amount of information shared by excellent guest speakers part of this summit.
According to the statistics more than 175,000 children go online for the first time every day – that is one child every half second. Simultaneously, a growing body of evidence indicates that children are accessing the internet at increasingly younger ages. In Albania, the number of active internet users increased to 2 million in 2017 that is 18% higher as compared to 2016. This exponential digital access exposes children to a numerous benefits and opportunities, but also to a host of risks and harms, including access to harmful content, sexual abuse and exploitation, cyberbullying and misuse of private information.
UNICEF believes obligations to protect children online lives remain with governments, families, and communities, however the private sector especially technology and telecommunication industries need to come forward and fulfil their responsibility to shape a safer digital world for children.
To address this concern and with a vision of a safer and better internet for children, the VIRAL Summit brought UNICEF brought together Facebook, INTERPOL, Google experts, UNICEF Innocenti Research along with government partners, private sector, civil society, children and parents to explore innovative policy approaches to eliminate the most egregious online risks and protect children’s online lives.