MediaSmarts

MediaSmarts

April 11, 2013 15:30 ET

UNICEF's Latest Report Card Shows We Must Do Better in Addressing Bullying in Canada Says MediaSmarts

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 11, 2013) - In the wake of the April 10 release of UNICEF's Child Well-Being in Rich Countries study, Canada's leading digital literacy organization MediaSmarts is calling for more education to address bullying, both online and off.

Overall, Canada ranks number 17 of 29 wealthy countries in the study; however, where children's views of their own life satisfaction are measured, Canada falls to the bottom third.

"These findings raise important issues that can't be ignored if we care about the well-being of Canadian children," says Jane Tallim, MediaSmarts Co-Executive Director. "With 35% of Canada's children reporting having been bullied in the last 3 months, and only 58.2% identifying their classmates as being 'kind and helpful', more needs to be done in helping young people develop resiliency and social skills for their relationships."

MediaSmarts, which offers education and awareness programs to help parents and teachers address cyberbullying, encourages parents to have an ongoing, open dialogue with their children about their online and offline lives. MediaSmarts notes that Canada falls among the bottom three countries in the UNICEF study when it comes to children finding it easy to talk to their parents.

"Youth we talked to as part of our Young Canadians in a Wired World research told us they were dealing with issues such as online bullying largely on their own," said Ms. Tallim. "At the same time, they also stressed the importance of having caring adults in their lives to guide and help them when necessary. If parents are going to do this, they need education and support as well."

The Young Canadians in a Wired World findings can be downloaded from www.mediasmarts.ca.

MediaSmarts (formerly known as Media Awareness Network) is a Canadian not-for-profit centre for digital and media literacy. Its vision is that young people have the critical thinking skills to engage with media as active and informed digital citizens. www.mediasmarts.ca www.twitter.com/mediasmarts

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