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Online safety concerns delegates at Usdaw’s annual conference

Date: 27 April 2015 Delegates at Usdaw’s Annual Delegate Meeting in Blackpool today debated online safety and passed propositions to better educate young people about the dangers of the internet and social media, including awareness about sexting.
Addressing conference, Paddy Lillis – Usdaw Deputy General Secretary says: “In today's society, the internet and social media are an integral part of life. Whilst there are many benefits to the developments in technology, such as more opportunities for children to learn and socialise, it also creates new pressures and presents new risks.
 
“These risks need to be managed as young people and children are much more vulnerable to threats such as bullying and harassment. Education shouldn't just be about core subjects and academia, it needs to prepare our children for the challenges in today's society.
 
“Sexting, the sharing of indecent photographs or text through mobile phones, in recent years, has become more common practice, especially among young people.
Worryingly many do not see this as a problem, which is why we need to raise awareness around this issue.
 
“Obviously, parents need to understand the risks, so that they can talk to their children about these issues, but we also need much better education in schools to make young people aware of the dangers and risks of sexting.”
 
Notes for editors:
 
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 433,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
 
For Usdaw press releases visit: www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion
 

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