Over the years, the Brazilian Kids Online survey has pointed to the existence of a significant portion of children who do not use the Internet. The latest findings show that about eight in ten children aged 9 to 17 – about 23 million – are internet users, whereas 6.3 million children in Brazil are still unconnected. Of these children 3.6 million have never used the Internet. Thus, in countries such as Brazil, it remains crucial to investigate the profile of non-users and make considerable efforts to promote equal online opportunities for those who have not overcome the initial barriers to digital inclusion.
Even among those who are connected, results show, there are persistent regional and socioeconomic inequalities that restrict the online opportunities which the internet affords to children. Although internet use through mobile digital technologies has become increasingly popular in the lives of Brazilian children from all socioeconomic backgrounds, a significant proportion still face rather limited access to online devices: more than half of connected children from low-income families rely exclusively on mobile phones to go online; this figure is 12% among children from high-income families.
Based on the recent research findings, Cetic.br aims to foster a dialogue among stakeholders for developing and discussing public policies aimed at promoting participation and protection of children in the online environment. To kick-start this process, the launch event included a public debate on ‘From research to policy: challenges for the media information literacy for children and adolescents’ with the participation of Divina Frau-Meigs (Paris III – Sorbonne Nouvelle), Ellen Helsper (London School of Economics and Political Science), Regina de Assis (Brazilian Ministry of Education) and Juliana Doretto (Cetic.br).
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