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Goodwill Ambassador Slaven Bilic joins UNICEF-supported campaign against cyberbullying

© UNICEF Croatia/2008
A poster for “Break the Chain”, a UNICEF-supported campaign against cyberbullying in Croatia.
ZAGREB, Croatia, 10 September 2008 - UNICEF and Croatian children’s hotline Brave Phone recently launched a campaign against cyberbullying, “Break the Chain”.  Cyberbullying refers to the trends of children and young people using the Internet, mobile phones or other devices to send messages intended to hurt or embarrass their peers.

The campaign was developed in response to the pleas of teachers, parents and children participating in UNICEF’s Network of Violence Free Schools, which involves 130 schools around the country. As more children are faced with this new type of peer violence, “Break the Chain” aims to raise awareness about this issue and help create a safe online environment for children, parents and teachers.

UNICEF National Ambassador for Croatia Slaven Bilic supported the campaign by recording a public service announcement with a group of children. The PSA encourages children to stop cyberbullying by simply not forwarding any harmful messages.

© UNICEF Croatia/2008
UNICEF National Ambassador for Croatia Slaven Bilic records a campaign PSA with children.

On the day of filming, the children cast in the spot could barely contain their excitement. Many of them lost sleep the night before, anxious about meeting Slaven Bilic, who is a national football hero of Croatia. The children had been explained that they would be making a spot on an important message about safe use of mobile phones and the Internet, and their work will be seen by children throughout Croatia.

When Mr. Bilic arrived on the scene, his young co-stars were timid – for about a minute. Soon, they were chatting away freely, learning the script and rehearsing together with Mr. Bilic. To watch the PSA, please go to You Tube.

As part of the campaign, parents and teachers will receive concrete advice on how to teach children to navigate the cyber world safely. In addition, UNICEF and Brave Phone also created a campaign website http://www.prekinilanac.org/, along with other mass media materials to increase support to children fell victims of cyberbullying.

Through this campaign, UNICEF formed new partnerships with all mobile phone companies in the country, including T-Mobile, Tele2 and Vipnet. All companies have agreed to support the campaign through an SMS donation mechanism and matching funds, while Croatian Television has agreed provide free airtime for the campaign advertisement. The campaign was designed  pro bono by Digitel, an award-winning advertising agency in Croatia.

For more information please contact:

Gorana Dojcinovic, Communication Officer, UNICEF Croatia, gdojcinovic@unicef.org

 

 
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