How has U-Report helped young people around the world?
The U-Report platform was first launched by Unicef Uganda in 2011. Since then, over 2 million young people have started using it in 22 countries around the world. U-Report has already helped to change the lives of children and young people. In Liberia, for example, U-Reporters helped expose a “Sex for Grades” scandal. Working with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Gender, we used U-Report to highlight how some teachers in Liberia were exploiting children by awarding grades or pass marks in return for sex. We asked U-Reporters if they believed this was an issue and their responses were astonishing. In less than 24 hours, 13,000 people had responded, with the vast majority (86%) saying they believed this was a problem in their school.
After the poll, all participating U-Reporters were told how to report abuse. The Ministry of Gender provided a helpline number for children, offering advice and support; it was inundated with calls. The same week, Unicef staff met the Minister of Education in Liberia to discuss the results and make a plan to address the issue. They’re now working together to improve child protection in schools.
In Zambia, young people were able to develop a better understanding of HIV and AIDS, thanks to confidential counselling via text message offered through U-Report. As a result, voluntary uptake in HIV testing increased from 25% to 40%.
Engaging young people in the UK
Look out for U-Report in the UK, where we’ll be using it to engage more young people in the decisions that affect them.
The pilot, which we’re running with the help and advice of young people, will test how U-Report can be of greatest benefit to children in the UK. We hope to engage thousands of young people in a live test period, giving them an opportunity to try out U-Report and feedback on its role in the longer term.
Share U-Report with young people aged 13–25! They can sign up by messaging JOIN to U-Report UK on Facebook, or by following us on Twitter @UReportUK