Unicef urges child safeguarding to be part of increased crypto adoption

By Raffaele Redi

The organisation warned of economic, financial and social risks around lack of regulation

Afghan children                                 
All proceeds from a UNHCR NFT auction will support vulnerable displaced Afghans – Photo: UNHCR/Andrew McConnell

The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has urged authorities to take child safeguarding concerns into account around cryptos. 

In its Prospects for children in 2022 report, the organisation said global authorities should begin “incorporating cryptocurrency and digital currency child safeguards into online child protection initiatives”.

The organisation, which provides humanitarian aid to children worldwide, recognised the general benefits of crypto adoption, such as “more frictionless remittances and more instant, transparent and efficient social assistance programmes”. However, it also warned of potential economic, financial and social risks determined by cryptocurrencies.

“Unregulated cryptocurrencies pose a threat to the stability of financial systems, government revenues on which many child services depend,” the report said.

It added that cryptos pose a direct threat to children “when they facilitate unregulated transactions that underpin child trafficking, sexual exploitation, the sale and purchase of content depicting child abuse, and the defrauding and extortion of children”. 

The charity NFT collection

Elsewhere, Mars Panda, an all-in-one aggregation blockchain platform, launched a charity NFT auction in support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its humanitarian efforts for vulnerable displaced Afghans.

The auction, taking place between 31 January and 4 March 2022, features more than 30 NFTs pledged by world-renowned authors, digital and fine artists, NFT influencers and professional footballers.

Among the VIP contributors are authors and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassadors Khaled Hosseini and Neil Gaiman, illustrator Dan Williams, Thai Venerable and UNHCR Patron Phra Medhivajirodom.

Gaiman has donated a UNHCR produced film of his poem What You Need To Be Warm, which includes a never-previously-published message on the writing of the poem and its development into a film. Winning bidders of this NFT will also receive a copy of Gaiman’s book The Sandman, signed by the author with a personalised message.

“The relentless influx of wealth and interest in NFTs are perfect ingredients to make them a force of good. NFTs have empowered everyone to convert their art and creativity into meaningful actions targeting social and humanitarian issues,” said Kevin Pang, CEO of Mars Panda World.

The Mars Panda platform was previously chosen to host Singapore’s inaugural NFT charity auction, Blockchain for Good, by Blockchain Association of Singapore. That event in November 2021 raised SGD$401,211 for local good causes.

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