INHOPE | A word from former Board Member Þóra Jónsdóttir
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A word from former Board Member Þóra Jónsdóttir

Þóra Jónsdóttir

Former INHOPE Board Member.

What inspired you to get involved in online child protection?

Many things inspired me to get involved in child rights advocacy work. I was a parent already at the time, a former child myself and a recently graduated lawyer with a special interest in child rights. I had a strong will to try and change the fact that children are violated, online and offline. I then joined Barnaheill - Save the Children Iceland as the new hotline manager. The experience was very rich and educational for me. I learned so much as a hotline manager and a member of the INHOPE network on behalf of Barnaheill. I hope I made some good use of that knowledge in my work for children directly.

How would you describe your experience as an INHOPE Board member?

Initially, I never considered joining the board of an international organisation. However, after I was suggested as a candidate I thought - why not me? I should and could do this just as anybody else. While at first, I experienced a level of Imposter syndrome, once I shared it with my colleagues their loving and supportive nature gave me the security to take my time, to listen and learn from the experience. I was lucky to be surrounded by very competent people who taught me the rules and customs of international board work.

Over time, I gained confidence and started trusting my insights and intuition, giving my input into discussions and decisions that needed to be made. Overall, the experience of sitting on the INHOPE board was a very positive one, given that we were in function during Covid so we didn´t travel as much as we would later do. Perhaps it would have been more challenging for me as a mother and a spouse to have been away for longer periods.

What is a Key Requirement for Board Membership?

The key is to know and embody the mission of INHOPE - to ensure that children's rights globally are protected, and to strive for a digital world free of abusive and exploitative material. Knowing and remembering the core mission should help board members stay focused on what matters to run the organisation in the best interest of all children suffering sexual abuse and exploitation online. Also, the will and ability to listen more than you talk is a great advantage for all types of cooperation.

Let's Look Back at Your Last Interview

In your introduction Interview, you said the biggest challenge you see for INHOPE in the next 5 years is staying relevant in the sphere of online child protection. How do you see this challenge today?

INHOPE is much stronger than before in the sense that it has improved its governance structures and gained a wider audience over the past years. It grew its global network of hotlines, expanded the Secretariat team and adopted higher standards as well as quality professionalism. The past years have shown that INHOPE has strengthened its awareness about the importance of a holistic approach to cooperation with all stakeholders as well as online child protection. INHOPE has made great progress in building successful support systems that will keep the organisation relevant as a full participant in the online child protection mechanism.

What are Your Next Steps?

Professionally, I have now started working as a lawyer for the Media Commission in Iceland. The Media Commission has just recently become the responsible body for the Safer Internet Center in Iceland so I may rekindle my connection with INHOPE in the future, but only time will tell.

Personally, I am interested in living slowly and mindfully, nourishing the good connections I have with my people. I will continue volunteering for the Slow Movement in Iceland, to encourage all to take more time to connect to themselves and each other, creating moments of mindfulness and increased mental and physical wellness.

How would you summarise your tenure as a board member?

Having had the opportunity to serve the INHOPE network as a board member was a great honour and a very fruitful experience for me, both professionally and personally. I gained many wonderful friends whom I will hopefully be able to see and meet again and stay connected with. Thank you all, dear friends and colleagues, and keep up the good work!

Stay in touch with Þóra here

A word from former Board Member Þóra Jónsdóttir

INHOPE has made great progress in building successful support systems that will keep the organisation relevant as a full participant in the online child protection mechanism.