The Ministry of Interior’s Information Technology Department on November 9 called on guardians, school managers and teachers to participate in the fight against youth cyberbullying.

According to a 2019 UNICEF report, 85.7 per cent of Cambodian youths between the ages of 15 and 25 face cyberbullying.

The department said guardians have to educate their children about the effects of bullying in the context of the internet.

Children should be encouraged to report cyberbullying to school managers and guardians, it said.

The department also urged school staff to create bullying rules and alert children to the effects of bullying and associated punishments.

It said bullying happens almost everywhere including schools, workplaces and communities. Bullying can carry severe mental health implications for victims and because of rapid technological advancement, bullying has found a home online.

National Cambodian Council for Children (NCCC) secretary-general Nhep Sopheap told The Post that bullying is a worldwide concern.

She said Covid-19 has forced children to participate in online learning.

Sopheap acknowledged that the extra time spent online can have both positive and negative impacts on society.

Victims of bullying, she said, spend less time at school and distance themselves from their parents. They also tend to be more involved in petty crime and pursuing illicit activities.

“Relevant institutions are working on this issue by taking measures to prevent this abuse [bullying] though discussion with youths. This work needs participation from everyone,” she said.

According to the UNICEF report, about 60 per cent of Cambodia’s 9.7 million inhabitants use the internet.