Publish: 14 Nov 2020, 10:06 am
A teenager in Bangladesh has won the International Children's Peace Prize for his efforts to educate young people about cyberbullying.
Sadat Rahman, 17, was motivated to develop a mobile app to help young people track online bullying after reading about a 15-year-old girl who took her own life from harassment, reports BBC.
About 1,800 teenagers in his local district have now used the app.
Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai described him as "an inspiration".
"He's calling on young people all over the world to stop cyberbullying and to help peers in their community who suffer from mental and emotional violence. Sadat is a true changemaker," she said in an online speech.
The International Children's Peace Prize is an annual award that honors the work of young people who support children's rights. Previous winners included Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.
Mr. Rahman's app, Cyber Teens, helps young people to report cyber-bullying confidentially through a network of volunteers who then contact police or social workers, while also educating teenagers about online protection.
Since its launch, more than 300 young victims of online crimes have been supported and eight people - including adults who sexually harassed children online - have been arrested.
The teenager plans to use the €100,000 (£90,000, $118,000) award to spread the app further in his home country "and hopefully to serve as a model for the rest of the world", according to the AFP news agency.
Accepting the award, Rahman clarified that half of the young internet users in Bangladesh had encountered cyberbullying, and that fear and lack of awareness had stopped many of them from reporting crimes.
"I strongly believe awareness, empathy, counselling and action are the four drivers of force to combat cyberbullying," he said. "The fight against cyberbullying is like a war, and in this war, I'm a warrior. If everybody keeps supporting me, then together, we will win this battle against cyberbullying."