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UNICEF and Digi strengthen long-standing commitment to protect child rights

UNICEF and Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd (Digi) have extended their long-running partnership via a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This renewed partnership will see both organisations collaborate on projects related to digital inclusion and digital resilience, and continue to advocate for children’s rights in the digital age. The MoU builds on the global partnership between Telenor Group and UNICEF, which leverages Telenor’s digital platforms to reduce inequalities, while enhancing children and young people’s skills for the digital future.

The MOU was signed by Dr Rashed Mustafa Sarwar, UNICEF Representative to Malaysia and Special Representative to Brunei Darussalam and Joachim Rajaram, Digi’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer in Kuala Lumpur recently. As one of the founding members of the UN Global Compact in Malaysia, Digi first partnered with UNICEF in 2012 on initiatives surrounding child rights and business principles, as well as other critical issues related to the welfare of children in Malaysia since. 

“We are very happy to partner with Digi, one of our long-term partners and strong supporter of children’s rights,” said Dr Rashed. “A key focus of this partnership is to protect children in online spaces, as they are equally vulnerable there as they are anywhere else. This year, UNICEF is celebrating its 75th anniversary. It is an opportunity to reimagine the digital world, and private sector partnerships for every child.”  

According to Joachim, the partnership is made possible by the shared vision of both parties to protect children’s rights and reducing inequalities through positive use of technology and accessibility to the internet. 

“We strongly believe that partnerships are the most effective way to scale and maximise positive impact on the communities and economies we operate in. Digi has been championing digital resilience and Safer Internet for all in the past decade through our flagship Safe Internet programme, and are proud to partner with UNICEF to effect a more sustainable change for Malaysia’s future generation. Our work with UNICEF is an extension of our Yellow Heart promise to empower more Malaysians with skills for an accelerated digital future,” said Joachim.

In 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, Digi and UNICEF collaborated with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and Ministry of Education (MOE) for a three-year Future Skills for All initiative to digitalise computer and technology school subjects and make e-learning easier for school children. The two parties have also hosted the #ENDViolence Youth Talk to raise awareness on interventions on issues around child bullying and online violence.

Working together to create a better future for our children

To commemorate the long-standing partnership, UNICEF and Digi held a virtual dialogue to highlight the issues that children face during the COVID-19 pandemic and drive better understandings on the role of education and technology in their wellbeing.

The virtual dialogue saw Dr Rashed; Dr. Sumitra Nair, Vice President and Head of Digital Skills and Jobs of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC); Allison Low, President of PJ Child Council, and Manisha Dogra, Vice President and Head of Sustainability, Asia of Telenor Group shared their thoughts on the increased participation of children on online platforms and the benefits and risks they might face.

Also present at the event was Her Excellency Gunn Jorid Roset, Ambassador of Norway to Malaysia and Philip Ling, Digi’s Head of Sustainability.

For more information on Digi’s Yellow Heart efforts, visit https://www.digi.com.my/yellow-heart.

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