The Children’s and Youth Advocacy Office of Upper Austria (KiJA) felt the pros and cons of online offers during the pandemic: the online consultation and workshops were expanded, but the KiJA also took on the dangers of the online world.
“Children are independent personalities who have their own legal status and can claim their rights. However, to do this, they must know and understand these rights,” said State Councilor Birgit Gerstorfer (SPÖ), who outlines the tasks of the KiJA. Child and youth attorney Christine Winkler-Kirchberger has now presented a three-year report.
Online offers increased
At KiJA, 2020 and 2021 were also dominated by the pandemic. The online offer has expanded. In total, individual contacts have increased by 15 percent since 2019 to 5,500 in 2021. The trend is that guidance is becoming more complex and the number of interventions per child is increasing.
Digital media as a stress factor
However, the online world is not just informational. Digital media can cause stress, the potential for addiction and carry dangers such as cyberbullying, grooming or body shaming. It is the task of the KiJA not only to provide help where necessary, but above all to take preventive measures.
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