Belgium Safer Internet Centre
Belgian Safer Internet Centre
Child Focus is an ‘all-in-one’-organisation, combining all aspects of the Safer Internet Centre under one roof: an awareness centre www.clicksafe.be, a hotline for child abuse images on the internet www.stopchildporno.be and as from May 2011 also a helpline. These activities are funded by the European Commission under the Safer Internet Programme. The Belgian Safer Internet Centre centre seeks to give children, parents and teachers advice and tips on how to avoid risks when using the Internet. At the same time the centre emphasizes the positive aspects of using information and communication technologies. A strong and large network of national stakeholders works very intensively together in the development of tools, giving advice and information on new technologies. Furthermore, these stakeholders helps us to disseminate information.
As Belgian Safer Internet Centre Child Focus coordinates the Belgian celebration of Safer Internet Day and launches different campaigns on internet safety in collaboration with industry, Ministries and other partners.Child Focus develops awareness raising tools on safe and responsible use of the Internet and informs parents, teachers and the public about children’s use of the internet and new technologies. The aim is to provide children, parents and teachers information and tools for guidance and to empower children using information and communication technologies. All tools and information is developed in Dutch as well as French and can be found on www.clicksafe.be
Reaching different target groups
Working in a targetgroup-specific manner is one of the cornerstones of the Belgian Safer Internet Centre. We believe every target group has its one specificities and needs a different, targeted approach. Therefore, Child Focus developed different strategies for different target groups. The Awareness centre gives regularly presentations for parents in schools, institutions... about children’s use of internet and provides parents with information and educational advice. The focus for teachers is being let on training them in how to handle cyberbullying and offering them ready-made, easy-to-use educational resources they can use to teach e-safety. Young people are approached by a combined strategy of online and offline tools.
Child Focus sets great store by the expertise and self-regulation of young people themselves. We feel it is very important to view young people as informants with qualified knowledge when talking about safe use of the Internet. Children are considered as competent and their insights are perceived as valuable contributions – they have something to say which cannot be said by anyone but themselves. Therefore, young people are involved in the design of awareness raising actions, tools and materials. Via our Youth Panels, we stay in touch with teenagers, to know what’s hot and what’s not among young people, which are the problems they encounter and what is their view on our awareness raising campaigns. They also play an active and creative role in the development of peer-to-peer communication tools for young people.
The Belgian Safer Internet Centre is highly respected, consulted and seen as key resource and knowledge centre for e-safety. The centre has a large network of relevant stakeholders (government, law enforcement, industry, non- governmental and welfare organisations...) and is regularly consulted for information, training, advice and collaboration.
Safer Internet Day 2013
For the tenth edition of the Safer Internet Day on ‘Online rights and responsibilities’, Child Focus will take and stimulate actions at different levels:
On one side, Child Focus will raise awareness and encourage actors from all fields (teachers, youth organisations, scouts,… ) to take action and set up an activity around e-safety.
In order to help them, Child Focus will, in partnership with other organisations, send a letter and a template of an e-safety animation to all of them. All organisations willing to participate in Safer Internet Day, are invited to register their activity on our platform, http://www.clicksafe.be/sid/enregistrez-vos-activites , in order to share best practices and raise visibility!
As the Belgian Safer Internet Centre, Child Focus will also organize a proper event on the February 5, 2013. An e-safety cube will be located in a busy place in Brussels. Schools will be invited so children can enter our e-safety cube, where they will see themselves in distorting mirrors. Those mirrors will give to the children different reflects of themself, as on the internet: one person can present different aspects of himself. This experience will trigger a reflexion among the children on their online rights and responsibilities. At the end, on one face of the cube, they will have to write key words concerning online rights and responsibilities. Also the other sides of the e-safety cube will give tips on how to make sure your online rights and responsibilities are respected.
For Child Focus, Safer Internet Day is the occasion to raise awareness and remind all Belgian citizens and organisations that online safety is a shared responsibility. Children love the internet: they send e-mails, chat, game, share pictures,… But as in real life, it’s important to learn them how to avoid risks and stay safe.
Online safety of children is, with the fight against missing and sexually exploited children, one of the cornerstones of Child Focus. As Belgian Safer Internet Centre, Child Focus is taking different actions: the awareness center of Child Focus develops tools and provides tips for children, teens, parents and professionals (www.clicksafe.be ). In order to make the internet a safer place for children, Child Focus runs the civil hotline www.stopchildporno.be where all citizens can report images of sexual abuse. Finally, Child Focus runs a Helpline for a Safer Internet (http://www.clicksafe.be/helpline/fr_BE) for everyone with a question on safer internet for children.
Making the online world a safer world needs the involvement of all actors. Communication and education are key elements to prevent harmful or unwanted things happening to children. If we want to protect the child’s rights on the internet, we have to teach them the responsible use of it, we have to explain them how to avoid risks, we have to talk with them about internet in an open and positive way. Safer Internet Day is the ideal moment to do so, side by side with other actors and organisations.