Bosnia and Herzegovina Safer Internet Day Committee - International Forum of Solidarity – EMMAUS (IFS-EMMAUS)
Last updated: 2021-01-29
About our SID activities
For Safer Internet Day (SID) 2021, IFS-EMMAUS plans to continue working on raising awareness on internet safety and the importance of protecting yourself online, as well as reporting cases of online violence. SID celebration target groups are primarily children and teenagers, since virtual reality has become a significant part of their lives, which makes internet safety one of the top priorities among youngsters in the modern age.
On 9 February 2021, IFS-EMMAUS will once again launch an online quiz on online safety, which has been designed in cooperation with colleagues from Croatia's Center for Missing and Exploited Children (CZND). The quiz will be organised in coordination with BiH SID committee members and supported by our sponsors and partners that will provide valuable awards for children who score 80 per cent or more in the online quiz. All the questions are updated each year and are designed to follow the emergence of new online trends. The questions are related to internet safety and mechanisms of protection from harmful content, as well as practical ways of combating online violence and illegal content.
Prior to Safer Internet day itself, we will launch campaign on social media outlets and our website www.sigurnodijete.ba in order to engage as many children as we can to take part in the quiz and spread the word about Safer Internet Day and our mission. IFS-EMMAUS will use recommended tips and ideas for a social media campaign, which includes badges, messages, hashtags and other online promotional tools. Our sponsors and partners will also take part in promotion of Safer Internet Day. Following the example of previous years, we will also contact schools and ministries of education, and ask them to spread the word among children in schools, in order to reach as many children as possible.
What we are doing to support the SID 2021 slogan of "Together for a better internet"…
During the past eleven years (2009-2020) IFS-EMMAUS has demonstrated great will and persistence in order to draw attention to the importance of online protection. In 2009, that idea did not seem as important, but eleven years after, the world is living in synergy with technology, and children are being raised with technology. Even though technology brings a lot of advancements, it also provides more space for illegal activities and new means of child abuse. IFS-EMMAUS has made consistent efforts in order to engage all the important actors in the system and have everyone get together for a better internet.
In the past eleven years, IFS-EMMAUS has implemented a comprehensive programme on prevention of online child abuse and exploitation through digital technologies in cooperation with the BiH Ministry of Security, law enforcement and judicial agencies, Ministries of Education and pedagogical institutes, civil society organisations and regional and international actors. Activities have included the establishment of the first online SOS Hotline for reporting online child abuse and exploitation - the interactive web portal www.sigurnodijete.ba - as well as education and prevention activities for children, teenagers, parents and educators, specifically computer science teachers across BiH.
One of the key milestones in child protection and education initiatives is the establishment of the first Safer Internet Center (SIC) in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the establishment of a Consortium for the protection of children which consists of three NGOs: MFS-EMMAUS, Save the Children and UNICEF. The SIC was established following the model of other Safer Internet Centres in Europe and around the globe. Many years of research and monitoring of the work of these other centres have resulted in incorporating positive practices of other Safer Internet Centers in the work of SIC BiH, as well as networking with other centres for mutual benefit. The SIC has been established as a multi-purpose communication platform with a focus on education, prevention and awareness raising. Components of the SIC are:
- Awareness raising/Information Centre.
- Hotline for reporting harmful/illegal content.
- Helpline for offering support for the cases of online violence and abuse.
- Youth Panel providing peer-to-peer education of young people on internet dangers, online abuse and prevention.
The importance of the SIC is that it provides an online spot where illegal and harmful content can be reported. SIC services are currently being promoted to the target groups by a set of well-designed (by child participation, and testing through focus groups for approved messages) awareness and outreach activities, including information materials such as leaflets, radio jingles and additional materials that are being developed as we speak, which are already resulting in increased awareness and knowledge of target groups on online safety and prevention of OCSEA (platform statistics, helpline services requested, etc.) . These are expanded by education workshops implemented in schools across BiH, and through extracurricular activities that target children, parents, Parental Council representatives and other educators (school psychologists, pedagogues, representatives of education ministries, etc.) on prevention and protection from OCSEA in BiH.
The Safer Internet Centre (SIC) signed the Cooperation Protocol with representatives of all three police agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina - Federal Police Directorate, Ministry of Interior of Republika Srpska and Brčko District Police. The aim of this Protocol is the advancement of social child care and its protection, as well as ensuring necessary aid when a child is exposed to different forms of violence or abuse, through ensuring adequate and timely reaction of competent institutions and services. Throughout continuous Safer Internet Day activities during the last five years, IFS-EMMAUS, in cooperation with SID Committee BiH and other partners and sponsors, has engaged more than 50,000 children from Bosnia and Herzegovina to participate in an online quiz and educate themselves on online safety.
International Forum of Solidarity – EMMAUS (IFS-EMMAUS) was established in 1999 with the aim of providing assistance to vulnerable population groups. With its over 260 employees, 70 volunteers and a network of 7 offices in across the country, IFS-EMMAUS represents one of the largest NGOs in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) that operates on the whole country territory. Each of the country offices is specialised and addresses specific areas of intervention, whereby Office Sarajevo manages program actions addressing the prevention of trafficking in human beings (THB), illegal migration, online child abuse and exploitation (CSAE), domestic, sexual and related gender based violence, implementing comprehensive programs such as assistance and protection to victims of trafficking in persons (VoTs); children and youth subjected to physical and related online and gender based violence; assistance and shelter to VoTs and victims of violence, vulnerable migrants and asylum seekers, unaccompanied minors and children without parental care; training and capacity building of government professionals (state, entity and local including law enforcement agencies, prosecutorial professionals, social workers and Regional Monitoring Team members), as well as civil society organisations (CSOs) and international actors; prevention and awareness raising amongst groups at risk and the general public; education of children, parents and teachers, as well as inclusion of THB related education into the BiH education system; activities contributing to legislative changes or amendments of TIP related laws; research, monitoring and lobbying for improvements in the aforementioned areas of action in BiH, region and globally.
IFS-EMMAUS operates the European Resource Center for the Prevention of Trafficking in Human Beings and Other Forms of Exploitation – EURC comprising the first Resource Platform on Trafficking in Persons in BiH established in 2013 as a research, training and education center for stakeholders from BiH, the region and around the globe; the first Safer Internet Center -SIC in BiH for reporting, awareness raising and education of children and general BiH public on online child abuse and exploitation (www.sigurnodijete.ba); operates one of the largest shelters in the world for trafficked victims, assisting and protecting both children and adults, BiH nationals and foreigners, men and women; manages the Center for Children and Youth assisting vulnerable migrants and asylum seekers, including unaccompanied minors within the recent migration flows.
For all aforementioned actions, IFS-EMMAUS holds MoUs and Protocols with the responsible BiH Ministries; BiH Service for Foreigners Affairs (SFA); over 80 centers for social work across BiH; partner NGOs and international organisations. The organisation has been a member of EMMAUS Europe/International since 2004, providing assistance to migrants across four world continents; INHOPE – International Association of Internet Hotlines since 2010; and ECPAT, one of the largest international networks engaged on the prevention of trafficking in human beings, since 2016.
- Animated cartoon "Violence against children" – education tool for younger children on all forms of violence against children, including violence in the digital environment (Bosnian language with English subtitles)
- Mobile application “Super Safe”
- Mobile Application “Stay Safe” – memory game on online violence (Bosnian language)
- Video “Stop violence in the digital environment” (Bosnian language)
- Storybook for children "All you need to know about violence" (Bosnian language)