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Working Towards a Deeper Understanding of Digital Safety for Children and Young People in Developing Nations

An Exploratory Study by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, in Collaboration with UNICEF


This exploratory study is intended as a contribution towards building a deeper understanding of children’s safety in a digital context in developing nations.

The paper's three main objectives are:

  • "to raise awareness about issues related to digital safety for youth in developing nations";
  • "to provide a tentative map of these issues and give insights into the current state of the respective research based on an exploratory literature review"; and
  • "to outline the contours of a research framework through a series of working hypotheses that might inform subsequent research efforts on these issues by connecting efforts in developing and industrialized nations."

Researchers, scholars, and activists engaged with questions of youth and technology in developing countries are encouraged to utilize this study as a building block for future work.

The report was authored by Urs Gasser, Colin Maclay, and John Palfrey, with assistance from Sandra Cortesi, Lauren Dyson, and Rachel Miller-Ziegler, and in collaboration with UNICEF’s Gerrit Beger, Katherine Maher, and Merrick Schaefer.

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Youth and Media

Youth and Media (YaM) encompasses an array of research, advocacy, and development initiatives around youth (age 12-18) and digital technology.