Cyberbullying impact: Study reveals one in six teens face online harassment

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Urgent call for action: Cyberbullying cases Rise, highlighting online safety concerns. — Reuters/File
Urgent call for action: Cyberbullying cases Rise, highlighting online safety concerns. — Reuters/File 

A recent international study has shed light on the pervasive issue of cyberbullying, revealing that nearly one in six adolescents have encountered harassment online, BBC reported.

A joint study by the World Health Organization (WHO) comprised of a survey of more than 279,000 young people conducted in 44 countries and regions.

In Wales, the figure was about 37 thousand young individuals who participated, out of which 6,400 or 17% reported to have experienced cyberbullying, this being very alarming. 

HBSC survey, which is conducted on a regular basis, has been showing a sharp increase in the cyberbullying incidents ever since 2018: from 12% to 15% for boys and from 13% to 16% for girls.

In England and Scotland the principal trend is the same; 19% of the young people there have been cyberbullied in England and 18% in Scotland have. It highlights the urgent importance of training youth, family and school organisations about the different means of cyber bullying and its consequences.

Mr.Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO's Director for Europe Region, underlines the importance of dealing with virtual peer violence especially during the time of enormous online presence during covid 19. 

Kluge highlights the healthcare and human-rights-related aspects of cyberbullying, suggesting international interventions to protect the wellbeing of teens.

Sarah Hannafin, the senior policy adviser for union NAHT, worries that, like cyberbullying rates, the problem will also increase. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the governments, social media platforms, and schools to unite against the problem. 

UK government is a supporter of safe online environment through the Online Safety Act which rests on strict requirements to protect children from harmful content and cyberbulling and failure to meet them leads to large fines.