BULGARIA Safer Internet Centre BULGARIA Safer Internet Centre

Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre

The Safer Internet Centre in Bulgaria started back in 2005 by the non-governmental Applied Research and Communications Fund (ARC Fund) with the launch of a Hotline for fighting illegal and harmful for children content and conduct in internet .

From 2008, ARC Fund established an awareness node in a consortium with Association Roditeli (Parents) and Deconi advertising agency thus creating the Bulgarian combined Safer Internet Centre. And in April 2011 a Helpline operated by Association Roditeli was launched.

ARC Fund is a member of the International Association of Internet Hotline Operators INHOPE and of the Insafe network.

Since 2006, ARC Fund has been co-ordinating the national events and initiatives in the country connected to the Safer Internet Day.

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A different Safer Internet Day designed by the young people

An exhibition of hundreds of small kids’ drawings, inspiring presentations of young people streamed live online and musical event ended by a heavy metal band of pupils of 4 different schools. It does not seem like a typical Safer Internet Day celebration but that is how it was on 11th February at the premises of the EC and Europarliament representation office in Sofia. Because the scenario was developed by the young people themselves for their 80 peers attending the event.

The day started with the three mobile operators sending for a 4th year in a row millions of SMSs to their customers reminding them of SID. At the same time the team of the Safer Internet Centre was frantically trying to prepare an exhibition of more than a thousand drawings received from dozens of primary schools from around the country. It was not a competition, there were no prizes and still a small army of kids with their generals-teachers enthusiastically wrote and draw endings to a fairy tale about “You are the hero (in internet)”.

The national event started rather late in the day – from 3pm in order to have a musical party at the end. As the young people put it, “what a celebration is that without music”.

The head of the EC representation office Mr. Ognian Zlatev, the chair of the State Agency for Child Protection Mrs. Eva Jecheva and a representative of the Commission on children, youth and sports at the national Parliament kept really short their addresses as kindly asked by SIC  The teacher Rositsa Visarionova from Haskovo, winner of the annual pre-SID competition “Teacher leader in virtual space”, and her two pupils Antoan Kalev and Tsvetelina Tencheva described how they worked in the class on the theme “The young people between the virtual and the real”.

Then, the first presenter was not so young because Mr. Dimitar Ganchev from Internet Society-Bulgaria is one of the pioneers of internet in the country from the times when the WWW was not yet even imagined. He recalled that exciting era to the amazed young people who knew that there were times without internet but they would guess that no witnesses are still alive :-)

Then it was the turn of two bright girls from the city of Dupnitsa –delegates to the previous year’s SID2013 - TeeNet Parliament. Borislava Dineva reminded how the Charter for online rights and responsibilities of the young people in Bulgaria was prepared, discussed and voted. It provoked a discussion about how to further promote the Charter so that all young people and the responsible institutions in the country become aware of it. Lilyana Slavova described how the internet helped her to become a delegate to the TeeNet parliament and then to participate in the Safer Internet Forum in Brussels, to make friends from around the globe and to create pieces of fine art.

The last presenter - Lyubomir Yanchev, programmer from the age of 7, 18-year old entrepreneur and inventor of a smart home cheap system and of the ultimate remote control for all kind of appliances inspired the audience with his message the what the world needs today is young people willing to change it!

 And then, finally, the musical show was started by Good Music Society band whose leader Mihail Stefanov is representative of the A21 Campaign against trafficking of women and girls. Singer Natali Nikolova and the Tune UP band followed. At the end the EC and EP representation office building was shaken by the metal rock sound of Maverick.

What a Safer Internet Day!

Drawings from the exhibition

In a supporting awareness campaign the mobile operator GLOBUL developed a rather scary video

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Over 100 young people voted a Charter of Online Rights of the Young People at the Bulgarian parliament for SID 2013

After heated debates, voting and re-voting - very much like the real parliamentary discussions, 100 young people voted and accepted the Charter of Online Rights of the Young People in Bulgaria on the Safer Internet Day. 

The 3-hour long debates took place in the building of the Bulgarian parliament in the presence of several members of the parliament: Galina Bankovska, Katia Chalakova and Irena Sokolova, the chair of the State Agency for Child Protection, representatives of the Ministry of Education, Cyber Crime Unit, Vivacom, the head of CEE policy Gabriela Cseh and the assessment officer of Insafe Hans Martens. 

Ten main delegates from across Bulgaria, selected through public voting on Facebook, presented and argued for the 10 rights included in the Charter. Students from six high schools in Sofia, representatives of the Youth council at the State Agency of Child Protection and SOS Children's Villages directed questions, critiques and comments towards the delegates and the official guests of the event. The debates were streamed online, where 400 schools followed the discussion and asked questions through the Helpline chat platform. 
The delegates of the TeeNET parliament insisted the Charter to be additionally reviewed by more young people and, if necessary, revised for the next Safer Internet Day in 2014. The young delegates asked the institutions and the business to consider actions to safeguard and promote the following 10 rights:

1. Opportunity: I have the right to benefit from the Internet as far as I respect the rights and dignity of the others.
2. Utility: I have the right to use everything I need as far as I respect copyrights. 
3. Freedom of Speech: I have the right to share freely my opinion as far as I don’t offend anyone.
4. Creativity: I have the right to create my own content as far as I don’t plagiarise.
5. Privacy: I have the right to limit the access to my personal information in order to protect my identity.
6. Communications: I have the right to communicate openly as far as I don’t use hate speech.
7. Credibility: I have the right to verify the information I come across in order to ensure that it is correct.
8. Help: I have the right to receive competent help in case I need it.
9. Participation: I have the right to participate in the decision making as far as it concerns me and my wellbeing.
10. Freedom: I have the right to do whatever I like as far as I respect the rights of the other users.

TeeNET parliament’13 was organized by the Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre with the support of the Parliamentary Committee on Education, Science, Children, Youths and Sports, with the media partnership of the Bulgarian National Television and Kabinata.com and the fincancial support of the mobile operator Vivacom.

The complete footage of TeeNET parliament’13 (1.4 GB) is available for download from here. 

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The TeeNET parliament was organised by the Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre Safenet.bg,  coordinated by ARC Fund and Parents Association and supported by the EC Safer Internet  Programme. The online elections took place on a specially designed application “TeeNET  parliament’13” on the Facebook page of the Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre.. Between 30th  November and 15th January all boys and girls between the age of 13 and 19 with a valid Facebook profile are eligible  to apply by designing their election avatar and creating an online right  for a slogan. The slogan should consist of the right itself and its limitations. 

What online rights and responsibilities means to us...

For us in the Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre the theme of the online rights and responsibilities focuses on the inclusive and participatory nature of the internet of today. When online, children are not just passive consumers anymore, but active creators of their own content, online personality, community, reality. With such power at hand, inevitably come the responsibilities which are rarely addressed in the classroom or at the dinner table at home. Raising awareness about the interconnection between online rights and responsibilities of the young people is crucial for two reasons. First, to ensure that all children are empowered to protect and promote their rights online like-wise offline in a smart and positive way, and, secondly, all children should realize that their rights are dependent on the extent to which they respect the rights of the other users. Thus, they will be prepared to become active and productive citizens in the digital age. And the power of the internet, they will rather use it than abuse it.

Find us online!

Safer Internet Centre web-portal: http://safenet.bg
Hotline reporting facility: 
http://web112.net 
Helpline website:
http://www.blob.bg
Helpline contact platform: 
http://helpline.bg 
SIC Facebook page: 
http://www.facebook.com/SafenetBG
SIC Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/goricele

ARC Fund webpage:
http://www.arcfund.net 
Association Roditeli website:
 
http://roditeli.org 
DeConi website:
 http://deconi.bg/

ARC Fund

http://www.safenet.bg/