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Safer Internet Day celebrated in Albania

© UNICEF Albania / 2012
Safer Internet Day meeting in Tirana, Albania

TIRANA, 7 February 2012 - Safer Internet Day 2012 brought together the Albanian Minister of Innovation and Technology, mobile operators, parents, teachers, civil society and NGOs in an attempt to increase child safety on line with concrete measures.

The Ministry of Innovation recently started an awareness campaign (1-17 February 2012) in order to build a strong commitment around this issue. During his speech, Minister Pollo highlighted the need to adopt the best European practices and sign an ICT Code of Ethics. "We should offer the Albanian children a possibility to report cases of abuse while they use the Internet."

The creation of a special committee was proposed by the minister and it will be called the "Safer Internet Day committee". Microsoft along with the Ministry of Education this week will organize workshops on protection guidelines in two high schools involving also parents, teachers, students and mobile operators.

Also a series of TV spots will be aired to deliver messages around child safety online. In Albania only 9 percent of poor children are members in various clubs while 41 percent of children from wealthy families take part in these activities. About one third of all school buildings in Albanian villages do not have artificial light (lack of electricity/ bulbs). Girls are likely to have less access to teh Internet (busy helping at home, Internet-cafes are more male oriented).

UNICEF deputy representative Vera Gavrilova highlighted the role that UNICEF will play in data collection and analysis, in bringing the "child's face" to inter-sectorial partnerships (Albania ICT industries Code of Ethics expected in early 2012). Also, UNICEF will take part in organizing and mobilizing young people as protagonists of digital citizenship and enhanced digital safety and also in promoting the Internet as a powerful social "equalizer”, as part of the global equity agenda.



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