INHOPE | Safer Internet Day (SID) Mini-Series 2023 Recap
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Safer Internet Day (SID) Mini-Series 2023 Recap

Safer Internet Day (SID) is not just an annual event; it’s a global campaign on a mission to advocate for a secure digital environment, especially for young people. First celebrated in 2004, SID has evolved over the years into a pivotal occasion, uniting child protection stakeholders from over 180 countries.

This year, as we celebrated SID’s remarkable 20th anniversary, INHOPE launched a monthly mini-series to extend and amplify its impact. Unpacking the SID tagline “Together for a Better Internet,” this series recognises online safety challenges and calls for collective action. Each month, we explored a wide range of topics related to children’s online safety, providing solutions for building a more secure future.

The series commenced with an exploration of the rise of Non-Consensual Intimate Images (NCII). Delving into the causes, risks, and consequences, the article emphasised the urgent need for global efforts to reduce and prevent NCII. Special attention was given to educating and raising awareness among young people about the dangers of sharing intimate content online. (Read the full article)

Although any minor can be a victim, a staggering 90% of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) online depicts girls. Focusing on the vulnerability of girls to online exploitation, our next article highlighted the need for open conversations about gender equality and healthy sexual development. Empowering girls and deconstructing harmful gender stereotypes emerged as key strategies for creating a safer online environment. (Read the full article)

Child sexual abuse and exploitation takes many shapes, requiring multifaceted approaches to be stopped. In observance of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we outlined preventative measures along the CSAM chain. Societal-level interventions were advocated, stressing the need for awareness, digital education, and online safety tools to confront the root causes of child sexual abuse. (Read the full article)

Showcasing the significance of helplines, we highlighted their crucial role in guiding, protecting, and supporting young people and their parents on digital safety issues. Discussing this topic on International Child Helpline Day, emphasis was placed on the accessibility of helplines and the need for educational systems to inform young people about contacting national helplines in critical situations. (Read the full article)

Moving forward, a broader perspective on child exploitation was presented, focusing on child labour and commercial sexual exploitation facilitated by the digital environment. Vigilance and reporting of suspicious conduct are imperative to prevent child trafficking and exploitation. We further explore other preventive measures, such as collective efforts involving education, staff training, and community-based care. (Read the full article)

Recognising the indispensable role of the internet in children's lives, online safety should always be a priority. Further examining this, we encouraged collaboration among parents, caregivers, teachers, organisations, and online platforms to empower youth with digital skills, enabling them to protect themselves and harness technology for their benefit. (Read the full article)

In some developing countries, the attempts to protect children online face an added layer of obstacles. Shifting the focus to this issue, we delved into the risks of orphanage tourism in countries packed with tourists from across the globe. We strongly discourage this form of volunteering due to the potential harm it poses to vulnerable children. Instead, we promote awareness, suggest enforced regulations, and demand the reporting of susceptible cases of such abuse. (Read the full article)

In September, we recognised National Gaming Day as an opportunity to talk about the risks associated with online gaming popularity, focusing on bullying and grooming. To address these concerns and foster a safer online environment for children, this article outlines various components that contribute to effective safety measures. (Read the full article)

Every girl should be equipped with essential digital literacy skills to make informed decisions and navigate online responsibly. Marking the International Day of the Girl Child, we talked about and reinforced the importance of promoting girls' empowerment. It covered challenges such as gender-based discrimination, cyberbullying, online harassment and CSAM, advocating for collective action. (Read the full article)

In the last article of the series, we addressed the issue of CSAM distribution, particularly on platforms designed for everyday communication for all age groups. The circulation of explicit and illegal material is a global reality that requires the intervention of several parties. But, in this piece, we focused on the role of online platforms in enabling features that facilitate reporting, support healing and prevent revictimisation. (Read the full article)

Our journey through the monthly mini-series reaffirms that the battle for a safer online world is fought not in isolation, but through joint efforts. Why does the Safer Internet Day matter? Because the internet is part of our daily life, making it safe for all is a shared responsibility. Your participation in Safer Internet Day isn’t about grand gestures, it's about the small, everyday actions that collectively make a difference. As we wrap up this chapter, we look ahead to Safer Internet Day 2024, where the conversation on online safety continues. Stay informed by visiting their website and learn how you can get involved here.

Safer Internet Day would not be possible without the support of the European Union. Funding is provided by the Digital Europe Programme (DIGITAL). Learn more about the European Commission’s new European strategy for a better internet for kids (BIK+) on the EC website.

Safer Internet Day (SID) Mini-Series 2023 Recap

Our journey through the monthly mini-series reaffirms that the battle for a safer online world is fought not in isolation, but through joint efforts.