Wednesday, 5 August 2015

U-Reporters speak out on violence against children

By Awis Mranani, UNICEF Indonesia Innovation Lab

Millions of Indonesian youth are affected by violence. ©UNICEF Indonesia/2014

The results are in. UNICEF has just completed its first major survey using the U-Report Indonesia polling system. Young people across the country were asked for their views on the taboo subject of violence against children.

More than 4,000 participants, or U-Reporters, were involved in the Twitter-based survey. Questions focused on the government’s previous strategy on violence against children and findings will now be used to provide input to the government’s updated National Strategy on Violence against Children for 2015-2019.

The answers offered by Indonesian youth are enlightening. They stressed that the government needs to be much more strategic in keeping children safe from violence. This could be through increased public awareness and education activities (particularly regarding legislation and policies) and facilitating more community involvement on the topic, especially from youth.

Quantitatively, the survey found that over the last three years, most young people aged 13-24 years who had become victims of violence did not receive any form of counselling and 15 percent had no idea where to report violence if they witness it or experience it themselves.

Results have been directly shared with the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection (KPP-PA). At a recent National Workshop on Violence Against Children in Bogor, Dr. Ir. Pribudiarta Nur Sitepu, Deputy of Child Protection in KPP-PA, highlighted how “[U-Report Indonesia] shows that a social media approach is important to engage children and young people.”

Key information from the survey was also distributed to 17 other government agencies, including the Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas), the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Education and Culture, along with 19 non-government organizations.

Responses from U-Reporters about violence against children ©UNICEF Indonesia/2015

UNICEF Indonesia Child Protection Consultant Ryan Febrianto says this shows how U-Reporters are becoming agents of change. “The thoughts and opinions of U-Reporters are now directly influencing national policy.”

“The recent U-Report Indonesia survey proves that young people don’t just want to be passive beneficiaries of services, but that they want to be active participants in the development of the new National Strategy on Violence Against Children for 2015-2019,” he says.

Enabling Indonesian youth to directly contribute to key development issues like violence against children is crucial for positive civic engagement and citizenship. The U-Report platform will continue to empower young people by making their voices heard. Input from U-Reporters is creating real change around Indonesia and the world.

Become a U-Reporter: follow @UReport_id