Safer Internet Day 2012
BRUSSELS, 7 February 2012 - Over the years, Safer Internet Day has become a landmark event in the online safety calendar.
Starting as an initiative of the EU SafeBorders project in 2004 and taken up by the Insafe network (www.saferinternet.org) as one of its earliest actions in 2005, Safer Internet Day has grown beyond its traditional geographic zone and is now celebrated in more than 70 countries worldwide, and across six of the world’s seven continents. From cyberbullying to social networking, each year Insafe aims to be at the forefront of emerging online issues and chooses a topic reflecting current concerns.
This year we are focusing on connecting generations, as we invite people of all ages from very young children to parents and grandparents to “discover the digital world together… safely”. Insafe, a network set up within the Safer Internet Programme In 1999, the European Commission (EC) created the Safer Internet Programme, with the aim of promoting safe, responsible use of the internet by children and young people, and protecting them from illegal and harmful content and conduct online.
The programme is managed by the Directorate General for Information, Society and Media and highlights the shared responsibility of NGOs, educational establishments, law enforcement bodies, industry and families in online safety initiatives across the European Union member states. In 2004, the Insafe network was set up to spearhead awareness activities within the Safer Internet Programme.
Safer Internet Centres and Committees Today Insafe comprises 30 Safer Internet Centres, one in each of the 27 EU member states as well as in Iceland, Norway and Russia. Most Safer Internet Centres are composed of an awareness centre, helpline, hotline and youth panel. The helplines offer information and advice to children, young people, parents and teachers about how to stay safe online.
However, Safer Internet Day is also celebrated outside Europe. In 2009, the concept of Safer Internet Day Committees was introduced, to strengthen the bonds with countries outside the network and invest in a harmonised promotion of the campaign across the world. There are around 30 committees working closely with the Insafe coordination team, which is based at the heart of the European Union in Brussels.
The Safer Internet Day website provides a global online community platform where countries and international organisations can showcase events and actions conducted locally, nationally and internationally for Safer Internet Day. It also offers a wealth of multilingual resources empowering young people, their teachers and their families to make the best possible use of online technology. It is a space where leaders in the internet safety community can communicate with the public and exchange ideas, knowledge and experience with each other.
Digital Citizenship and Safety
UNICEF`s work in digital citizenship and online safety aims to get a better understanding of the digital landscape in a range of different countries, mainly those with a developing or emerging economy.
Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society and UNICEF are in the beginning phases of a collaborative research project concerning the online safety risks to children in developing countries.