A report on a Living Lab in Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands
In 2020, Plan International Australia in partnership with ChildFund Australia and the Young and Resilient Research Centre at Western Sydney University conducted research into the challenges and opportunities children’s technology use presents in the Solomon Islands, Kiribati and PNG .
The research highlighted a critical gap in access to online safety and digital literacy programs. Children, young people and their families identified that they felt under-equipped to reap the benefits of the digital age while staying safe online.
While many children and young people have a sense of how digital technology might contribute to a better world, there is also significant scope to encourage them to connect and participate in the online world in a safe and meaningful way.
Key research findings:
77% of children highlighted the risk of accessing inappropriate content such as horror movies and pornography as their greatest online fear, followed by cyber-bullying (38%).
Parents and carers identify a lack of control over what children are accessing as their greatest fear, alongside feeling ill-equipped to support their children’s online safety.
Children feel particularly positive about the educational opportunities that greater access to information provides.
Participants generally believe girls are more at risk than boys to online abuse and less capable of managing risk, leading to girls’ online access being limited by their parents.
50% of children reported they do not own or have reliable access to a digital device.
Children primarily turn to their parents and caregivers for support and guidance when navigating the internet.
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