The UN Human Rights Council held a forum on cyberbullying among teens on Wednesday, identifying it as a global issue and concern for internet safety, according to a statement released by the organization.
Speakers warned of the negative impact of cyberbullying on children, noting that one out of teens between the ages of 13 and 15 has experienced cyberbullying. Experts weighed in on the devastation that cyberbullying can inflict on mental health, education, and social development.
Israeli cyberbullying expert Yoni Chona, founder and co-director of Mazmihim, an Israeli organization that works to combat violence, told UN representatives that cyberbullying is an issue comprised of several layers and needs to be eradicated as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Teachers need to play an important role
Chona emphasized the importance of educators to work toward combatting the issue of cyberbullying. “Most of those who harm children are children who do not currently have adult social agents who are present in the same places, with technologies and means where the children are present,” he said. “We have not experienced these types of communication and we are not there to teach the younger generation how to drive there” Yoni explained.
Meta’s team behind safety and policy emphasized the existence of resources such as anti-bullying features available on the platform.
Nada Al-Nashif, the Deputy High Commissioner of the United Nations for Human Rights, noted that the global impact of cyberbullying has only been exacerbated by the ever-growing scope of emerging technologies.
The continually developing impact of new technologies has allowed children to develop and exercise a variety of rights, leading the committee to conclude that it is important to continue to combat the dangers that come with evolving technology while simultaneously embracing it.