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A quarter of children feel their parents don't love them enough to keep them safe

Most Irish children appear to be aware of the dangers of the internet and feel most at risk of harm when they’re at school.

Image: child image via Shutterstock

THE RESULTS OF a global survey of children has shown they are a lot more savvy about the dangers of the world they live in than we give them credit for.

The Small Voices, Big Dreams report published today revealed Irish children feel most at risk of being emotionally abused or mistreated online through social media. 85% said they were most at risk of harm online. Irish children, it appears, are well aware of the potential dangers lurking on the internet.

The number of Irish children in the survey who said they felt most at risk of harm at school was significantly higher than the global level at 65%.

Abuse at home

One fifth of Irish children interviewed said they felt at risk at home. Almost half said they interpreted mistreatments by adults as punishments for something they had done while 42% also felt adults mistreated them because they had the power.

Most Irish kids do not think it is their fault when they are badly treated which is something children’s charity ChildFund hailed as a success in Irish society as we have managed to build up the self-esteem of our little ones.

In Ghana, 63% of children think it is their fault when they are mistreated.

A heartbreaking statistic in the report reveals a quarter of the world’s children feel their parents don’t love them enough to keep them safe.

Worryingly, one quarter of Irish children said the reason for bad treatment was that the adults were drunk or on drugs.

Irish children had a strong message about how the adults in their lives can help keep them safe with 41% saying they simply needed to listen to what they have to say.

Making the world a better place

When asked what they would do to make children feel safer if they were the leader of their country, the top answer globally was to punish the abuser or send them to prison.

However, many Irish children said if they were the leader they would give more to the poor, particularly the homeless and those without proper food and access to clean water.

ChildFund said Irish kids appear “well aware of the inequality in the world between their lives and those in developing countries”.

An overriding response to the question what would you do to keep children safe was to control bullying behaviour both in and outside school.

The survey this year included 6,000 ten to 12-year-olds in 44 countries across the world.

Read: YouTube has a new way for Irish parents to keep their kids quiet>

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