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Hon Roger McClay Commissioner for Children

8 March 2001

"Adults need to be more vigilant in supervising children and young people’s use of the internet – without this there are clear risks to safety", a spokesperson from the office of the Commissioner for Children said today.

The survey released today contains disturbing evidence of the real risks to the safety of children and young people in making contact with people on the internet. Some 60% of the young women surveyed reported that they had offered personal information (phone numbers, addresses, places of school or employment), and photographs to contacts they had made on the internet. And 33.5% of the young women had had a personal face to face meeting with someone they met on the internet.

The young women described high levels of sexual suggestion, offers of pornographic material, threats and harassment within their internet communications.

Alarmingly, over two thirds of the young women said that their internet usage was almost never monitored or supervised by adults. The Commissioner was fully in support of the internet safety kit launch last year. This survey demonstrates the urgent need for further work to be achieved in the interests of safety for children and young people. The government and community interagency group responsible for the kit has clear expertise and commitment to increase awareness of the need for adults to monitor and supervise internet usage. This work is supported by the Commissioner and his staff.

For further information contact: Roger McClay - Telephone 04 471-1410

Office of the Commissioner for Children Level 12, 86-90 Lambton Quay PO Box 5610 Lambton Quay WELLINGTON

phone: 4711 410 phone fax: 4711 418 fax

email: children@occ.org.nz email

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