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Building a 'Safe Online World for Children' with the Royal Government of Cambodia

April 5th, 2024

Launched in March 2024 by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, Terre des Hommes Netherlands in Cambodia, and popular social media influencer Catherine Harry, the 'Safe Online World for Children' campaign focuses on raising awareness of key online safety practices for children and parents. The campaign also promotes a live Facebook Chatbot game on online safety.

Play the Facebook Chatbot Game (Khmer only)
An interactive online safety campaign for children in Cambodia

Online Child Sexual Exploitation in Cambodia

1 in 10 children in Cambodia suffer online abuse (Disrupting Harm, 2022).

With the widespread use of the internet, specifically social media, children in Cambodia are at a very high risk of online exploitation, which can even lead to psychological trauma and self-harm.

Children need to be safe online. But how? 

The ‘Safe Online World for Children’ campaign answers this question. 

About the campaign

Under our SCROL project, the joint campaign focuses on raising awareness of key steps or practices for children and parents to ensure a safer online world along with promoting a live Facebook Chatbot game on online safety.

The campaign highlights tips and information through graphics, videos and a live Facebook Chatbot game on online safety. Examples include tips on activating privacy settings, what information not to reveal,  how parents can stop online child sexual exploitation (OCSE), how to report abuse online, among many others. It also raises awareness of different types and terminologies surrounding OCSE and addresses stereotypes to ensure victims are never discriminated against. 

Play the Facebook Chatbot Game (Khmer only)

The Facebook Chatbot Game

The campaign also promotes the Facebook Chatbot game which is an interactive tool for children to learn about online safety via Facebook which is the most popular social media platform in Cambodia. The link to the game directs the player to a Facebook messenger window where he/she/they become a part of a story by choosing responses to different scenarios that generally children face online. While participating in this game, the player learns in the process.

The chat presents these different scenarios through three characters : Bopha, Sam and Sarom. The game is played with Bopha as a lead character where the player responds to situations that Bopha faces such as hurtful comments, stranger friend requests and so on. Sam is a friend who is a positive influence and shares good practices online while Sarom is a negative influence who places Bopha at risk of online dangers.

The campaign will run for a period of 8 months and works to create positive behaviour change among children and parents in terms of ensuring safer online practices.

“Public knowledge of online risks and harms remains significantly limited among internet users in Cambodia, therefore there is the need for extra efforts to raise awareness so that the public can keep themselves safe online.”, says Ms. Tan Sodany, Director of Information and Communications Technology Policy Department, Ministry of Post and Telecommunications. 

“This campaign is a great example of key partners coming together: a leading Ministry, a bold Cambodian influencer and an expert international NGO. It has a potential for huge impact. We expect that children and families will start discussing more about their online activities and learn together how to reduce risks of OCSE.” , says Zoe de Melo, our Global Programme Manager OCSE based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

“Children spend a majority of their time online, for entertainment and educational purposes, especially after the pandemic. Many of them have at least one social media account, so this is a crucial time for us to protect them and equip them with the tools to identify, stay safe and report any abuse that happens to them”, says Catherine Harry, a Forbes-listed social media influencer in Cambodia.

To learn from the campaign on Facebook, follow @adoseofcath @kitkoukon and @myonlinesafety. The campaign will run till October 2024. To play the chatbot game visit bit.ly/SCROLchatbot

For more information about the campaign, contact Mahima Sashank, Regional Communications Adviser Asia, Terre des Hommes Netherlands at m.sashank@tdh.nl

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