It is estimated that more than one billion young people worldwide are at risk of hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices. In response to this growing public health problem, WHO launched the Make Listening Safe initiative in 2015. The initiative aims to reduce the risk of hearing loss posed by unsafe listening behaviour. To facilitate safe listening, WHO has identified the following three strategies:
- Create evidence-based standards that outline safe listening features for a variety of situations where unsafe practices are common
- Increase awareness by developing and disseminating evidence-based awareness materials for safe listening
- Invest in safe listening research to understand the current state of safe listening, leverage best practices and uncover future need of interventions.
To advance this agenda, WHO and ITU have adopted a consultative approach. Since 2015, WHO has been regularly organizing stakeholders’ consultation with experts in the field of hearing and sound; civil society organizations; professional groups; private sector and youth groups.
It is proposed to hold the next consultation with experts and other stakeholders, with the objectives to:
- Discuss ways and means for promoting the existing WHO-ITU Standards; ‘Safe listening devices’ and ‘Safe listening venues and events’ to increase adoption and implementation.
- Share the progress made in different areas of work such as online approaches for raising awareness among different target audiences; a media brief on safe listening, and the Be Healthy, Be Mobile mHealth tool for safe listening.
- Brainstorm ways to promote safe listening among gamers and e-sports athletes.
- Agree on the next steps for achieving the vision of the ‘Make listening safe’ initiative
Dates and summary:
- 7th June 2023 – Combined Plenary session
- Introduction and review of meeting
- Analysis of Make Listening Safe target group,
- Review of existing H.870 WHO-ITU Make Listening Safe standard and
- Research initiatives for safe listening.
- 8th June 2023 - Combined Plenary session
- Review of World Hearing Forum’s actions to promote safe listening
- Review of WHO-ITU Safe Listening for venues and events and perspectives for increasing its adoption
- Introduction of safe listening in gaming and Esports and related perspectives
- 9th June 2023 – Independent working groups
- Group A Gaming and esports
- Group B Adapting Venues and Live Event Standard
- Group C H.870/ITU: Global Harmonization of Standards
- Group D Research protocols
Venue: Please find venue information in the Make Listening Safe 2023 Meeting Handbook (attached below)