ICT Education provides opportunities

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From the Child Protection Partnership (CPP):

"At Banglamung School, students enjoy using ICT as part of their learning. We have opportunities to use ICT for projects and to exchange information" - Natchaphon age 18, Grade 12, Banglamung School, Pattaya, Thailand

The use of online technology such as the Internet has provided information and entertainment for people from children to adults. Today, Thailand has more than 13.9 million internet users. They have ability to connect with anyone online anywhere around the world. This is a powerful tool especially as 59% of internet users are largely youth but they are getting younger. Statistics show that internet use is more for entertainment than for searching for knowledge, especially with the online games that the young people are addicted to, where almost all their internet activities are devoted to such games.

"For me, I would keep connected to internet day and night" - Brazilian Girl age 12, Circle of Rights Participant, Brazil

A great degree of interest in working on the issue of child and adolescent sexual exploitation exists in Brazil where the problems are seen as being linked to tourism and information technology more generally.

"I think it would be good if students could actively take part in activities that promote the safe use of the Internet and other communication technologies" - Natchaphon age 18, Grade 12, Banglamung School, Pattaya, Thailand

In Thailand, approximately 20% of the population uses the internet and 25% use mobile phones. The Thai government aims to have 50% of the population over 15 years of age ICT literate by 2011.

"What LAN houses (internet cafes) most offer is risk. Porno sites simply pop up... and are available on the computer". - Brazilian Girl age 13, Brazil

Child Exploitation Tracking System (CETS) is a Microsoft software based solution targeting Law Enforcement worldwide. CETS was developed in collaboration with law enforcement in Canada. Administered by the loose partnership of Microsoft and law enforcement agencies, CETS offers law enforcement unique tools to gather and share evidence and information so they can identify, prevent and punish those who commit crimes against children.

"We alone can alert ourselves and not be misled - Brazilian Girl age 11, Brazil

Each year access to the Internet and other forms of ICT increases worldwide. While ICT can help in the process of learning and communication, ICT also provides a platform for the exploitation of children through the use of images and risky practices (e.g. blogging, chatrooms, webcams). Commercial child pornography is estimated to be a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide, and the number of images of “serious child abuse” quadrupled between 2003 and 2007. Images have increased significantly since 2007.

Children and adolescents are experts when it comes to technology and adults need to learn from them! They are creating spaces for themselves within the world of technology and humanity overall. When young people are engaged and viewed as partners, they can create spaces they can call their own (my space) while contributing to a larger, global picture of ICT protection and prevention (our world).

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