BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA Safer Internet Day Committee
Humanitarian organization "International Forum of Solidarity – EMMAUS (IFS)" was established in 1999 in Gracanica, BiH with the aim of providing assistance to all vulnerable population groups, including victims of human trafficking, child pornography and online child sexual abuse... As a non-profit NGO, IFS operates on the whole BiH territory and is a member of the international organization "EMMAUS International", which operates on four world continents.
Since 2009, IFS-EMMAUS is engaged in the implementation of a comprehensive project on the prevention of online child abuse and exploitation in BiH, in cooperation with the BiH Ministry of Security, law enforcement agencies and local NGO partners. The main project objective is the prevention of online sexual abuse and exploitation of children in BiH, through the usage of information and communication technologies.
Specific project activities include the establishment of an interactive web portal for children, teenagers, parents and the general public – www.sigurnodijete.ba - comprising information on online safety, safe usage of mobile phones and other communication technology and related information. The portal is available in local languages and English, therewith reaching a wider target audience. The most important tool of the portal is the establishment of the hotline – online reporting mechanism that allows for the reporting of inappropriate content, child abuse images and related information. Till present, a total of 87 reports were received by the hotline and communicated to responsible law enforcement agencies for further action, as the Hotline is still not allowed to analyse inappropriate content, as to domestic legislation.
In 2010, IFS-EMMAUS joined the International Association of Internet Hotlines – INHOPE as a Provisional member and in November 2012, following active involvement in Hotline activities and promoting a safer digital world, IFS-EMMAUS achieved Full INHOPE membership status.
IFS-EMMAUS also implements a continuous awareness raising campaign for aforementioned target groups, through the usage of electronic, print and alternative media. The campaign promotes online safety through two video clips for parents and children, information materials (leaflets, posters and brochures), as well as education activities in schools. The campaign is supported by the young hip-hop artist Adnan Hamidovic – Frenkie, the ambassador to the project, aiming to attract young people, especially teenagers to visit the web portal and report abuse. As part of awareness raising activities and in cooperation with local partners – BiH Regulatory Agency for Communication, Save the Children, Council of Europe, Unicef, Microsoft BiH, One World SEE and other, for three years now IFS-EMMAUS celebrates the Safer Internet Day, implementing prevention activities in schools and distributing information materials. In 2011, under the auspices of the Ministry of Security/State Coordinator for Anti-trafficking in BiH, IFS-EMMAUS established a SID Committee comprising the above actors, seeking to plan and devise future SID activities in BiH.
Activities also include educational workshops for children, parents and teachers in schools across BiH, directly reaching a target audience of over 2,500 individuals in schools across BiH. Sessions are performed with experienced experts and cyber crime inspectors, through usage of interactive learning methods and practical examples. These sessions are expanded with Training of Trainers (ToT) workshops that target teachers of information science from selected schools across the country, reaching a wider target audience and enabling for project activities to spread across primary and secondary schools and amongst education workers. These sessions include officials from Ministries of Education, pedagogical institutes and related education institutions.
As of recently and following the aforementioned ToT workshops, IFS-EMMAUS established a completely new web portal e-school.sigurnodijete.ba available in local language. The portal was created for teaches of information sciences and other educators following the needs and requests of teachers for such a communication and information sharing tool. The portal has been extensively promoted amongst educators and has accomplished the introduction of www.sigurnodijete.ba as a homepage in information science classrooms in most schools across BiH.
Recently, IFS-EMMAUS organized a Regional Conference “Comprehensive Approach to Addressing the Problem of Online Safety for Children and Youth”, which was held on December 13, 2012 in Sarajevo, hosting representatives of state institutions, diplomatic and consular missions in BiH, law-enforcement agencies, judicial and education agencies, day care centers for children, and civil society organizations from BiH and the region. The event also welcomed representatives of INHOPE, Insafe, Interpol BiH, Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre, as well as representatives from the regional Ministries of Interior, and non-governmental organizations active in this field, who addressed the participants on issues of online safety and joint possibilities for creating a safe digital world. This event served as an excellent awareness raising and prevention mechanism for primarily decision makers, education workers and general public, contributing to the exchange of information and best practices amongst regional actors joined around similar prevention activities in the countries of the region, but foremost experienced European partners who contributed to this event with sharing their knowledge and materials on fighting online child abuse and exploitation.
The added value to project implementation was achieved in April 2012, with the recommendation of the BiH Council of Ministers for negotiations to be initiated with the European Commission and Letter of Intent to be sent for joining the Safer Internet Programme/Community and IFS-EMMAUS to take the lead in the establishment of the National Safer Internet Center in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This activity is the result of ongoing negotiations with responsible institutions in BiH, raising of awareness on these issues amongst decision makers and lobbying of IFS-EMMAUS for more active involvement in the prevention of these crimes in the country and the wider region.
SAFER INTERNET DAY 2014
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the celebration of the day is organized by the Committee for marking Safer Internet Day (SID, Safer Internet Day, The Committee of Bosnia and Herzegovina), a body formed in 2011 with the aim of implementing preventative and promotional activities for the protection of children and youth in their use of information and communication technologies. This body was established by the organization of International Forum of Solidarity – EMMAUS (IFS-EMMAUS) in coordination with the International Organization Insafe – a European network of centers that raise awareness of and promote safe and responsible use of the internet and mobile phones among children and youth. The committee is headed by the Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and Illegal Migration, and its members include representatives of the Communication of Regulatory Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, IFS-EMMAUS, Save the Children, OneWorldSEE, and Microsoft BiH. Safer Internet Day is just one in a series of activities that these organizations, individually and jointly, have implemented with the aim of educating children and parents about the risks that the internet brings, and how to adequately protect themselves from them.
In accordance with the motto of 2014, Safer Internet Day in Bosnia and Herzegovina will be marked this year with joint activities that will promote the creation of a better Internet for youth, in cooperation with a partner NGO from the region – the Center for Missing and Exploited Children (CNZD) from Osijek, Croatia. As one of such activities, the SID Committee of BiH and CNZD will hold an online contest for elementary school children across BiH and Croatia on the theme of security on the internet. The competition will take place on February 11, 2014, from 09:00 to 19:00 in the form of an online quiz with questions related to the safe use of the Internet, and will be available on the specially created website www.boljiinternet.com. The quiz will be available only on 11th February - the day of SID 2014 and children can find answers to the questions at the well-known BH web portal for the safe use of the Internet www.sigurnodijete.ba. After 19:00 the system will register the contestants who answered over 80% of quiz questions correctly and, through random selection, will select competitors to win prizes for first, second and third place in each country. Winners of the quiz will be awarded with suitable awards – devices for using information and communication technologies: tablet, mobile phone and camera.
To ensure the greatest possible involvement of children in the competition, a video, a poster and a site on the social network Facebook (in the form of an event page) have been created, all of which promote the celebration of SID 2014, regional cooperation and networking, with an encouraging message for children to involve themselves in the competition. The video will be available on the web portals of all partners involved in the activities, and will be delivered to public broadcasters and other media, while posters will be distributed to schools with a call for participation in the competition.
Through interactive maps available on the aforementioned website, on 11th February, data will be visible concerning the number of children who took part in the quiz and from which cities in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina they came from. Subsequent to the competition, the responses of children will constitute the basis from which statistics will be created regarding the level of interest and involvement of various regions and cities; and children’s knowledge of the dangers of the Internet and measures for protecting themselves. The final event, comprising a victory ceremony and awards ceremony, is planned to take place after 11th February 2014, in coordination with the Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and the Federal Ministry of Education and Science, with the public and a media presence.