"Let's Keep Our Eyes Open! Let's Protect Children on the Internet"

m:tel launched a socially responsible campaign for a safer online space

13 March 2024
„Ne zatvarajmo oči! Zaštitimo djecu na internetu“
UNICEF

m:tel has launched a socially responsible campaign aimed at creating a safer online space for children. With the message "Let's Keep Our Eyes Open! Let's Protect Children on the Internet," m:tel, in collaboration with UNICEF in BiH and Blue Phone (Plavi Telefon), has initiated activities as part of this campaign. The goal is to raise awareness about the safety of children and young people in online environments, as well as emphasize the importance of involving parents in addressing the everyday challenges faced by this demographic on the Internet.

As a company that provides Internet access services, m:tel deals with security topics within the global network as part of its daily operations and user services. While the Internet offers endless opportunities, it also carries risks if used carelessly and without awareness of these dangers. Therefore, it is crucial to raise awareness about the need for everyone, especially children, to safeguard themselves in the virtual environment. The campaign "Let's Keep Our Eyes Open! Let's Protect Children on the Internet" aims to provide additional information, educate, and draw attention to this important topic. After all, digital security, like any other form of protection, relies primarily on knowledge!

The general director of m:tel, Jelena Trivan, thanked UNICEF and Plavi Telefon, which have greater experience and expertise in child protection, for standing behind this m:tel campaign and for actively participating in its continuation. "This is a big and important topic that cannot fit into one video and one event, it must be constantly talked about and worked on. I'm afraid that the Internet space, when it comes to children, is a place where significant dangers lurk at the moment. What is even more worrisome is the lack of awareness among parents and pedagogical staff about what is dangerous on the Internet, how to protect yourself from it and how to educate yourself and your child so that they do not come into danger," emphasized Trivan and added that we are facing the year in which m:tel, together with its partners, will organize a series of educations throughout BiH, in order to educate school psychologists, teaching staff and parents about why the Internet represents a potential danger. "Although the telecom operator should be most interested in profit and in that sense in selling as many phones, services, internet as possible, we do not agree with that. We believe that the health of this generation and those to come should come before profit, above all, mental health, which is seriously threatened by the way the Internet currently functions," said Jelena Trivan.

The result of m:tel's long-term friendship with UNICEF BiH and Plavi Telefon is their active participation in this campaign. Nineta Popović, head of the communications department of the UNICEF office in Bosnia and Herzegovina, said on this occasion: "Online violence does not only affect children, because all of us at least once in our lives have been exposed to some negative effect of being on the Internet, either through a negative comment or a harmless article that let's read it". She emphasized that violence on the Internet leaves deep consequences for mental health, and that it is something that is little talked about and paid little attention to. "It is necessary that at every event, in every article and conversation, we remind of the obligations of the state, which are guaranteed by signing the Convention on the Rights of the Child. I emphasize that through cooperation with the business sector and non-governmental organizations, as well as with the authorities, UNICEF will strive to support the improvement of mechanisms for both prevention and work with victims of violence", stated Nineta Popović, and added: "As a parent, I must say that it is not good the one who gives the child everything, a good parent is the one the child trusts."

Saša Risojević, director of the Association "New Generation" and coordinator of the Plavi Telefon, emphasized that in the long-term cooperation with m:tel, all children from all over Bosnia and Herzegovina have the opportunity to make free calls to the Plavi Telefon from any network. "The Blue Phone was founded in 2013, and two years later the first organization that recognized the importance of the Blue Phone was m:tel. From then until today, the calls are free, children can contact us via a free number or via chat consultation", Risojević pointed out, and added that 18,000 children contacted the Blue Phone last year alone. "The reason why children call are dominant problems in mental health - depression, anxiety, but what is problematic is that for the past two years we have had a sharp increase in the number of calls concerning suicide and suicidal ideas and intentions among children and young people. In the past three years, there have been five times more calls regarding the endangerment of children in the digital environment," said Saša Risojević.

As part of the media conference, a video clip was presented, aiming to prompt reflection on our presence in our children's lives. It encourages consideration of how much we see and listen to everything that happens around us, how well we know the dangers, and how we can find the best solutions, time, and words to help. The objective is to act together in building a modern, protected, and nurturing society.

Media contacts

Nineta Popovic
Communication Officer
UNICEF Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tel: +387 33 293 600

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