Children seek solutions to prevent violence against girls in the digital environment

– Children are involved in identifying risks and creating solutions –

FARO Foundation NGO and the project “Protecting Girls from Violence and Exploitation in Mongolia” project implemented by the Save the Children jointly organized the hackathon event among young people on the theme “Let’s Influence and Change”. The main goal of the event was to help children identify the dangers and risks they face in the digital environment, develop solutions to prevent and protect themselves from them, and implement these solutions in the form of advocacy activity.

The “Let’s Influence and Change” hackathon was organized between November 6 and 11, 2023, at the Hub Innovation Center and released the results. A total of 628 participants aged 13-17 from general education schools of 9 districts in Ulaanbaatar and 12 aimags registered for participation. Ten teams were selected in the first round. The selected team members received advice and information from professional teachers and mentors on topics such as child protection, children’s rights, adolescent psychology, digital safety, writing and presenting project proposals. Then they developed their project proposals and presented them to the jury on November 11, 2023.

Ms. Tsolmon Enkhbat, manager of the “Protecting Girls from Violence and Exploitation” project and the manager of Save the Children’s Child Protection and Children’s Rights Governance programs, spoke about the importance of the hackathon: “According to Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), we should assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child. Save the Children has extensive international experience developing methodologies to encourage child participation. When children take the initiative and originate ideas, and adults work with them to encourage and implement those ideas, child participation delivers tremendous effects. We can make a genuine impact in child safety if we listen to our children’s opinions, value them, and include their ideas into the work we do for them. The main feature of the hackathon we organized together is that we listened to our children’s ideas, provided them with the necessary support and helped them implement the proposed solutions. For example, an important outcome was the identification of how a child can contribute to recognizing, preventing and reporting signs of violence either in the digital environment or caused by the digital environment.”

Despite the fact that the hackathon was held during school holidays, the organizers emphasized that participation and motivation of the children was very high. In addition, the judges and mentors highly appreciated the children’s use of digital tools, skills to work with modern technologies, creativity and forward thinking ability.