Cybersecurity, Cybercrime & Online Safety
Child Online Safety
Online Hate Speech and Rights of Vulnerable People
European Schoolnet - Insafe
- Sabrina Vorbau, European Schoolnet – Insafe, Civil Society, Western Europe & others
- Sofia Rasgado, National Cybersecurity Centre, Government, Western Europe & others
- Evangelia Daskalaki, Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH), Technical community, Western Europe & others
- Christina Papasolomontos, Cyprus Safer Internet Centre, Pedagogical Institute, Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth, Government, Western Europe & others
- Sabrina Vorbau, European Schoolnet - Insafe, Civil Society, Western Europe & others
- Niels Van Paemel, Child Focus, Civil Society, Western Europe & others
- Deborah Vassallo, FSWS-APPOGG, Civil Society, Western Europe & others
- Anna Rywczyńska, NASK, Technical Community, Eastern Europe
- Boris Radanovic, South West Grid for Learning, Civil Society, Western Europe & others
Sofia Rasgado, National Cybersecurity Centre, Government, Western Europe & others
Julie Piechna, NASK, Technical Community, Eastern Europe
Sabrina Vorbau, European Schoolnet – Insafe, Civil Society, Western Europe & others
Targets: As outlined in the session description this Day 0 event will focus on the importance of youth participation. During the session, experts from European Safer Internet Centres will present their national best practices on the topic. Considering young people as experts themselves, the session will also ensure that the voices of young people are listen to and taking into consideration when developing resources and policy on child online safety and protection. Hence, this proposal is contributing directly to four SDGs, as indicated above, and listed here below again, while surely other SDGs may be respected indirectly as well. 3 – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 5 – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 16 – Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
Presentations, including voices of youth, followed by discussions and Q/A
Reaching children in vulnerable situations is a challenging task. In today’s world, children face vulnerability for a wide range of reasons: poverty, disability, mental health issues, abuse or neglect, family breakdown, homelessness, discrimination, and social exclusion, migration not to be left out. Various programs are designed to help social groups from diverse backgrounds, including those who are vulnerable. While these groups face different challenges, they all share a common need for online safety in an increasingly complex social environment. That said, all children can be considered as vulnerable since they develop in a world where decisions are made by others/adults, with an often very different perspective, feeling the pressure to adapt in a world where rights are not protected, risks are everywhere, and the technological developments in the digital environment surpass any imagination. In such an environment, and facing a multitude of everyday problems, children are called to develop emotionally, intellectually, technologically in a world where their voice it not heard and decisions are made by others, often not as familiarized with or concerned for their needs. The new European strategy for a Better Internet for Kids (BIK+ Better Internet for Kids Strategy), adopted by the European Commission in May 2022, aims to provide a delicate balance between digital participation, empowerment, and protection of children in the digital environment. BIK+ comes as an adaptation to the 2012 BIK strategy, following a decade where technological developments exceeded any expectation. The new strategy, adopted after a long consultation process, aims to place children at the forefront of developments/decisions that will be adopted by key stakeholders and the industry that concern the digital environment in the years to come. Children, as the digital citizens of the future, and being raised in a digital environment deserve to have a saying to what concerns the developments, protective measures, and their rights, and to shape the world they will live in. Based on the above critical and thoughtful elements, the BIK+ strategy places emphasis to the following three pillars: 1. Provide children with a secure digital environment that safeguards them from harmful and illegal online content, conduct, contact, and risks, while also enhancing their well-being by ensuring age-appropriate content and respecting their best interests. 2. Empower all children, including those in vulnerable situations, with the skills and competencies required to make sound decisions and express themselves safely and responsibly in the online environment. 3. Encourage active participation by respecting children's opinions and incorporating more child-led activities in the digital environment to promote innovative and creative safe digital experiences. Against this background, European Safer Internet Centres (co-funded by the European Commission) as part of the Insafe-INHOPE network aim to further implement the objectives of the BIK+ strategy at national and regional level. By putting policies into practice, youth participation has become a vital part of the daily work of the European Safer Internet Centres, involving youth in awareness raising activities, consultations, and co-design processes, among others. In 2022, across the Insafe-INHOPE network (currently consisting of 27 co-funded SICs) approximately 471 youth participation activities were organized reaching over 5,300 children and adolescents across Europe. To give further insights into this work, during this Day 0 event participants will hear from representatives of 4 European Safer Internet Centres (namely Belgium, Malta, Poland and the UK), sharing their national (and regional) best practices on active youth participation. The presentations will be complemented by youth voices, with young people from the Better Internet for Kids Youth Ambassador network (ref. About - Youth corner (bikyouth.eu). The Day 0 event will be co-hosted in an interactive manner by a representative of the Insafe network and a BIK Youth Ambassador. It will kick-off with a range of presentations from the speakers followed by a discussion and Q/A round, facilitated jointly by the two on-site and one online moderator, to allow participants on-site and online to interact with the speakers.
1) Two on-site moderators and one online moderators will jointly host this Day 0 event. The online moderator will build the bridge between the online attendees (and online speakers if applicable) and the on-site moderators, alerting her each time a question/comment is made by the online attendees. Moreover, the online moderator, will take care of written responses while the session is running, making sure questions/comments are responded to “on the go”, while also posting useful links/references in the chat for the online attendees to consult. 2) The Day 0 event will be supported by Power Point presentations, each speaker (present on-site) will have a short slide deck prepared to support his/her intervention. This will make the presentation more accessible to both on-site and online participants. After each presentation, a few minutes will be given to the on-site and online audience for Q/A. The on-site moderator together with two online moderators will facilitate the Q/A making sure questions and comments from on-site and online are equally considered. 3) Social media platforms (e.g. X), the Day 0 event will be accompanied by a dedicated hashtag (in addition to the IGF conference hashtags) which will be communicated by the on-site and online moderators at the beginning of the session. All participants are encouraged to use the hashtag, to share comments and feedback from the session with the wider IGF community and to engage in further discussions on the topic, beyond the duration of the Day 0 event.
Joint multi-stakeholder efforts are needed to ensure a safer and better internet for all children and young people globally. Pan-European and global networks, like the Insafe-INHOPE network, are crucial to achieve this goal.
Online safety also means emotional and physical safety, hence work of national helplines and hotlines are crucial.
Youth participation and empowerment need to be put into tangible action. Young people need to be given appropriate platforms to voice their opinion when decision on online safety policies are made or new products/tools are designed.
The session was organised by the Insafe Coordinator, in collaboration with the Portuguese, Belgium, Maltese, Polish and UK Safer Internet Centres, who shared their best practices on youth participation and how to engage young people in co-creating and developing new initiatives and resources. Moreover, the different centres explained how they work together with young people in developing awareness campaigns to effectively reach this target group, including children in vulnerable situations and to tackle online trends.
In today's world, children are vulnerable for many reasons: poverty, disability, mental health problems, abuse or neglect, family breakdown, homelessness, discrimination, and social exclusion, not to mention migration and war zones. Several programs are designed to help social groups from different backgrounds, including those who are vulnerable. While these groups face different challenges, they share a common need for online safety in an increasingly complex social environment.
However, all children can be considered vulnerable as they grow up in a world where decisions are made by others/adults, often with a very different perspective, and feel the pressure to adapt to a world where rights are not protected, risks are everywhere and technological developments in the digital environment are beyond imagination.
The new European strategy for a Better Internet for Kids (BIK+), adopted by the European Commission in May 2022, aims to provide a delicate balance between digital participation, empowerment, and protection of children in the digital environment. BIK+ is an adaptation of the 2012 BIK strategy, following a decade in which technological developments have exceeded all expectations.
Young people, as digital citizens of the future and growing up in a digital environment, deserve to have a say in developments, safeguards, and their rights, and to shape the world they will live in. The BIK+ strategy which was adopted after a long consultation process, aims to put children and young people at the forefront of the decisions that will be made by key stakeholders and industry in the digital environment in the coming years.