|GENEVA, Feb. 8, 2018-- More than half of children aged between 8 and 12 worldwide are subject to online threats including cyberbullying, video game addiction, offline meetings and online sexual grooming, a study released Tuesday by the World Economic Forum (WEF) has found.
The 2018 DQ Impact Report, published in association with the WEF, finds problems more acute in emerging economies, where internet adoption has been more rapid and less subject to appropriate safeguards by parents, industry or government.
The study of 34,000 children across 29 countries and regions finds that children spend on average 32 hours a week in front of digital screens for entertainment alone, more time than they spend in school.
The study found that 56 percent of 8-12-year-olds are exposed to at least one online-related challenge when using digital platforms.
And about 47 percent of the sampled have been subjected to cyber-bullying in the past year, finds the study.
While 56 percent represents a global average, threats to children are more widespread in emerging economies where the risks are 33 percent higher.
"We must act quickly and take positive steps to help these children facing cyber-risks around the world, especially in ICT-emerging countries," said Yuhyun Park, founder, and CEO of the DQ Institute, Singapore.
The DQ Institute is a multi-stakeholder coalition committed to improving digital education, culture, and innovation through cross-sector collaboration in association with the WEF.
Since partnering with the WEF in 2017, it has reached over 600,000 children in 15 languages across more than 30 countries and regions.