Tirana, March 27, 2018 - Every day around the world, more than 175,000 children enter the Internet for the first time, or approximately a child every half-second. Children through digital access are exposed to a range of benefits and opportunities, but at the same time they face a variety of risks and harm, including access to harmful content, sexual exploitation and abuse, cyber bullying and misuse of personal data.

Despite the wide presence of children online, one in three worldwide Internet users is a minor. Very little has been done to protect them from the dangers of the digital world and to increase their access to safe content.

“Today we are implementing a multi-year program, titled #IamSafeOnline, to progress significantly towards preventing and protecting children from exploiting and sexually abusing the Internet. In close collaboration with children, government, parents and guardians of children, civil society, child protection professionals and the private sector, we will maximize internet benefits for children while minimizing their exposure to possible dangers and injuries", said Jawad Aslam, UNICEF deputy representative.

“In the capacity of the Authority responsible for Cyber Security, AKCESK states that awareness and information are the key tools for empowering children and young people, to become digital responsive citizens and to create and empower their means of protecting the Internet . AKCESK will continue to support national initiatives to raise awareness among children, young people, parents and professionals in cooperation with a number of stakeholders, including UNICEF, in order to realize our mission to 'turn the Internet into a safe place for everyone ", emphasized Vilma Tomço, Director General of AKCESK.

The #IamSafeOnline program targets the following results for all children in Albania:
- Investigating cases of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse on the Internet (CSEA) and prosecuting perpetrators;
- Reporting the material of sexual abuse of children and their deletion;
- Taking protective measures, mitigating risks and preventing the child's exploitation and sexual abuse from the children, families, teachers and guardians themselves.

Within this cooperation, UNICEF Albania is signing a Letter of Cooperation with the National Authority for Electronic Certification and Cyber Security (AKCESK).
UNICEF Albania's intervention to address the sexual exploitation of children online is supported by the Global Partnership to end Cyber Violence Against Children.