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EU helps juvenile police and partner NGO launch child-friendly non-bot chat


‘Unsee’, a child-friendly non-bot Telegram chat that allows teenagers to quickly and anonymously complain about inappropriate online content, has been launched in Ukraine with EU support.

The tool was developed by the Child Well-being Fund together with the Juvenile Prevention of Ukraine, as part of the EU-funded project ‘Empowering Law Enforcement in overcoming online Violence against Children’.

Asier Santillian, Head of European Integration, Governance and Rule of Law, and Civil Society at the EU Delegation to Ukraine, said the project would help law enforcement authorities protect children’s rights and directly involve young people.

“After all, a responsible approach to the environment, including the digital one, is not only about awareness and compliance with safety rules but also about the readiness of teenagers themselves to contribute to the common cause,” Santillian said.

During the first months of its test mode, the non-bot chat received 673 requests, and operators registered 42 complaints, 23 of which were passed on to the police.

“‘Unsee’ is our step towards teenagers, to whom we want to say: ‘Don’t leave criminals invisible and unpunished! We are on your side, let us know and we will take the initiative’,” said Vasyl Bohdan, Head of the Juvenile Prevention Office of the National Police of Ukraine.

While developing the tool, the Child Well-being Fund Ukraine conducted a survey, finding that 57 per cent of respondents did not complain about unwanted content when they saw it. The main reasons for this choice were: “It’s none of my business” (46 per cent) and “I don’t believe the police will respond effectively to my complaint” (25 per cent).

Project coordinator Olena Shypilenko said that the developing team was impressed by this result: “It motivated us to expand the original task /…/ That’s why Unsee is not just a way to complain or report violations to the police. It is a channel of communication with adults (psychologists, social workers, and police officers) who will listen attentively, give advice and reassurance, and if there is a crime, open a case.”

The Unsee non-chat bot works in Telegram and is available for download here: @Unsee_nebot.

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