Safer Internet Day: we must work together to make the digital world safer for children

This year's theme is 'create, connect and share respect', writes the executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime

The community must work as one to tackle internet bullying, blackmail and grooming
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Today is Safer Internet Day. It is an occasion celebrated globally each year to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. This year’s theme is “Create, Connect and Share Respect: A better internet starts with you.”

It is a suitable day to reflect upon how the internet is a tool for peace, freedom of speech and for economic prosperity. It is an instrument that is bringing the world closer together.

But along with the tremendous benefits of the internet come risks: Safer Internet Day is a unique opportunity to raise awareness of those challenges, and to highlight the efforts of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime to reduce their malicious impact.

Our office is helping to broaden awareness of online sexual exploitation, to which children and women are particularly vulnerable. Our global programme on cybercrime, combined with our education for justice initiative, is shining a powerful light on these most pernicious of crimes.


Read more by Yury Fedotov


We are proud to partner with governments, the private sector and non-government organisations to help keep girls, boys, women and men safe online.

No one person, entity or government has the perfect solution, but by working together we can and are making a difference.

At the United Nations, we are working to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development containing 17 goals complimentary to enhancing peace, security and wellbeing for all.

On Safer Internet Day, we can make an invaluable contribution to sustainable development through the creation of a safe, just and open society for our children.

The internet is a tool for peace and we must all work tirelessly to make it safe for successive generations.

Yury Fedotov is executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime