Safer Internet Day is celebrated on 11th February in many countries. Safer Internet Day (SID) is organized by “Insafe” and occurs every February. Its aim is to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially amongst children and young people across the world.
The theme for this year’s Safer Internet Day is “Let’s create a better internet together” in recognition that young people, parents, teachers, policymakers and stakeholders all have an important role to play.
Given that young people are Europe’s most active users of the Internet, efforts to tackle bullying and particularly online bullying play a crucial role in ensuring a safe online environment for the younger generation. Sadly, cyber-bullying has become a daily reality for many children and young people in Europe causing terrible consequences that may scar both the victims and the bullies.
The increased occurrence of the phenomenon illustrate that a coordinated response to bullying is needed at European level. To this end, 17 organizations from 12 EU Member States in the framework of a project, funded by the European Commission’s Daphne III Programme, are working towards the establishment of a European Anti-bullying Network (EAN) that will contribute to the coordination of anti-bullying actions and developing a common strategy against the problem at EU-level.
As part of EAN project, the Europe-wide campaign “One Day in Europe, every Day for children” is calling on civil society organizations and citizens to visit www.antibullying.eu, sign the online petition and support the establishment of a specific European Anti-bullying Day.
As final products of the project, a Good Practice Guide will incorporate a selection of good practices within member states and at European level upon which an interactive application for Smart Phones will be developed in order to raise awareness and provide children, young people, teachers and parents amongst others with useful tools and resources. In addition, a documentary in 6 European languages will raise awareness by exploring the phenomenon and the actors involved, while a draft of recommendations on a common European strategy will be presented upon the completion of EAN in June 2014.
Costas Yannopoulos, Chairman of “The Smile of the Child” organization said: “Ensuring a safe internet environment especially for children and young people should be a matter of concern for all of us. Providing useful information and raising awareness among the public is the right way in order to protect children against the risks of the negative use of technology”.
EAN is calling on European citizens and organizations to join its anti-bullying activities and support its efforts towards creating a better reality for millions of children and young people across Europe.