In 2007 the Foundation conducted the research study “Impact of Internet on children in Mauritius”, in an attempt to learn about how children and young persons are using the Internet and the benefits as well as the risks the Internet presents to young Internet users.
The findings from the study have concluded that the risks are real and that the young persons interviewed have revealed that they have experienced harm to some extent.
The recommendations of the report have been acknowledged by the cabinet in Mauritius in 2009 and this has lead to the setting up of a national committee of child safety online. Halley Movement is a member of that committee.
The global internet offers new opportunities for children and families to research their homework online, communicate at international level, and build personal websites to share their creativity with others. However, while the technology offers unparalleled opportunities for children and adults to learn, it has also an immeasurable impact on the sexual exploitation of children and other abuses, such as child pornography, cyberbullying, grooming and paedophilia. According to the Internet Child Safety Foundation Survey – “Impact of Internet on Children” conducted in September 2007 in Mauritius, it had been found that less than 10% of parents monitor the websites visited by their children. The implementation of the Action Plan would, therefore, help consolidate measures taken to combat child abuse online.
- The main aim of the study was to collect data to answer the key research question about how children in Mauritius are using the Internet and study and describe the impact on the users.
- Understanding the reasons why the children used the Internet in Mauritius.
- Find out where and how children access the Internet.
- Find information on the sites visited frequently by children, the reasons and how
the children learnt about the sites.
- Elicit information on the favorite sites of children in Mauritius
- General reflections on skills needed by effective users.
- Internet experiences that had been significant in enabling them to become users.
- Whether sites are visited alone or in groups
- What is parent involvement in guiding and supervising children’s use of Internet.
- Whether children visit inappropriate sites.
- The key research objectives of the study were:
- 65 percent of the surveyed population owned a computer.
- 29.6 % have their computer in their bedroom
- 15.3 percent of respondents stated that they had expert knowledge in the use of computers.
- 66.8 percent stated that they had an intermediate knowledge- meaning fair to good.
- 17.9 percent stated that they were beginners in the use of computers.
- Overwhelming majority of children (95.4%) and young people in the surveyed population stated that they browsed the Internet.
- 88.4 percent of children and young persons used the Internet for email
- 77.3% of children and young persons used Internet also to chat
- 73% stated that there were no rules applied at home with respect to the time spent on the Internet
- 63.5 percent of respondents also accessed the Internet from public places – cyber café, social welfare centers
- 84 percent of the respondents browsed the Internet alone
- 59 percent stated that their parents did not monitor
- Prevent the risk from manifesting by creating awareness through information
- Support services for parents and guardians.
- Code of ethics on the use of Internet.
- Strengthen research
- Building partnerships for child safety online
- Internet Child Safety Foundation has comes up with the following policies: