The "Online Zoo" Book: Teaching Children to Stay Safe Online

Education for Justice (E4J), an initiative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, was developed with the aim to build a culture of lawfulness among children and youth through the provision of age-appropriate education materials, on topics related to criminal justice, crime prevention and rule of law and the integration of those materials into the curricula at all educational levels.

This spring, the Government of Uzbekistan supported E4J through a pilot dissemination of the Online Zoo Book among 3 rd grade children of a school in Tashkent.

The Online Zoo picture book (translated into several UN languages with support of the E4J initiative) encourages children with positive messages about how to deal with the different challenges they face online.

Through different situations that the animals of the online zoo encounter while using the Internet, the engaging book shows young children how fun and useful the Internet can be, if they use it safely. They are encouraged to take the lead, and to think about what they are doing, seeking help and advice as they grow and learn.   

Taking into consideration the high interest from school teachers and parents, special classes on online safety were held for 150 pupils of one of the primary schools in Tashkent city. Teachers studied the book with children during the classes and discussed its topics. After classes, children could take the books home to continue discussions with their parents. In their feedback, parents and teachers mentioned that the messages in the book were age-appropriate, engaging and accessible to children. Moreover, many parents reported that they read the book also with younger and older children in their families.

An interactive session with children, conducted by a UNODC ROCA team to obtain face-to-face feedback, showed that children had gained a high level of understanding of the information contained in the book.

The "Online Zoo" book has proved to be a useful educational tool on online safety for primary school children. Supervisor teachers expressed their gratitude to the UN for information on media literacy for children and guidelines for using the Internet. Parents, in turn, noted that the "Online Zoo" book could be disseminated more widely among other families, by saying that "children should know both positive and negative sides of the Internet and be able to recognize them."


For more information

 Please, contact Ms. Gulnar Kudaybergenova,

Training Associate, UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia

Tel: +998(71) 120-80-50

E-mail: gulnar.kudaybergenova[at]un. org