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One in six young teenagers a victim of cyberbullying, WHO warns

Cyberbullying affects one in six young teenagers, reports the World Health Organization (WHO), highlighting a significant increase in online harassment among children aged 11 to 15 since the Covid pandemic began.
The pandemic altered interactions among teenagers, leading to a surge in cyberbullying, particularly during lockdowns. The research, covering 44 countries and including data from 279,000 children and adolescents in Europe, Central Asia, and Canada, shows a 13 percent rise in cyberbullying in the past four years, according to Hans Kluge, WHO Europe director.

He emphasizes that cyberbullying is a matter of both health and human rights, urging protective measures for children both on and offline.

The study notes boys typically experience peak cyberbullying at age 11, while for girls, it peaks at age 13. One in eight adolescents confessed to cyberbullying others. Countries with the highest and lowest reported incidents among boys include Bulgaria, Lithuania, Moldova, and Poland, with Spain at the lower end.

Kluge calls for immediate action to combat bullying and violence, highlighting that children spend up to six hours online daily. The report recommends closer monitoring of peer violence, increased education for young people, families, and schools on the consequences of cyberbullying, and regulatory actions to reduce exposure on social media platforms.
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