Nearly seven out of 10 children in Malaysia worry a lot about bullying, according to a new global survey issued by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in conjunction with World Children’s Day on Monday (Nov 20).
From its findings, Malaysian children were the most anxious about bullying compared to three out 10 children in Japan, and four out 10 in the United Kingdom according to the comparative survey.
Among other issues that were raised by the children were climate change (77 per cent) while poverty, terrorism and education access stood at 74 per cent.
The survey was carried out in 14 countries across the world among more than 11,000 children between 9 and 18 years old.
She said children are hugely affected by bullying and we need to include them as part of the solution.
“The findings of the global survey highlight issues of particular concern to Malaysian children compared to others, and this should be taken seriously by the relevant parties”.
Unicef NZ executive director Vivien Maidaborn said it would be incredible if young people did not have to feel concerned for their safety and wellbeing and if they felt they were being listened to.
“When children and adolescents are engaged and encouraged to participate, it gives them confidence”.
About 54 per cent of Malaysian children felt that they did not contribute to change in Malaysia compared to 51 per cent in Japan, 61 per cent in U.S., 71 per cent in the United Kingdom and 40 per cent in India. They feel their opinion is most appreciated by Family and Friends (93% and 91%), and Teachers (75%).
More than half of the children use laptops and smartphones and Kiwi kids were also plugged into technology with 73 per cent frequently using social media and 83 per cent watching TV.
UNICEF expressed hope that World Children’s Day would inspire governments, businesses and communities around the world to listen to children, as well as incorporate their opinions in decision-making processes that affect them.