Bosnia and Herzegovina Safer Internet Day Committee - International Forum of Solidarity – EMMAUS (IFS-EMMAUS)
About our SID activities
Safer Internet Center in BiH is extremely proud of this year's achievement for Safer Internet Day 2020. On 11 February 2020, Safer Internet Center BiH once again launched 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 was organised in coordination with BiH SID committee members and supported by our sponsors and partners, including Microsoft BH, m:tel, Logosoft and Telemach, that provided valuable awards for children who scored 80 per cent or more in the online quiz. All the questions were updated and were designed to follow the emergence of new online trends. The questions were related to internet safety and mechanisms of protection from harmful content, as well as practical ways of combating online violence and illegal content.
This year we broke all the previous records for participation in an online quiz with over 17,000 quiz accesses from all over the country. The children demonstrated keen interest for participating in the quiz and many schools have actively participated in Safer Internet Day celebrations. Year after year we also see an increase in the performance of children on the quiz. In 2020, 9,331 (55 per cent) participants scored 80 per cent or more correct answers. The quiz was accessed more by primary school students, compared with high school students. Most accesses to the quiz were achieved by sixth grade students (3,119), followed by seventh (2,254) and ninth (2,237) grade students. Children from all over Bosnia and Herzegovina participated in the quiz. The winners were from the following cities: Pazaric, Vrselje, Zenica, Jablanica, Banja Luka, Ilijaš, Banja Luka, Odzak, Lukavica, Rogatica, Srebrenik, Kresevo, Sarajevo, Tomislavgrad, Visoko, Brcko, Glamoc and Konjic. 18 winners were selected randomly from all the participants who scored 80 per cent or more in the quiz.
This year's SID celebration was supported by partners and sponsors of the Safe Internet Center, who recognised the importance of protecting children and young people on the internet and demonstrated their social responsibility by supporting this event. This year's sponsors of Safer Internet Day - Microsoft, m:tel, Logosoft, Telemach rewarded the winners of the quiz with valuable prizes (laptop, tablet, smartphone and internet service packages) and BH Telecom promoted the event through their communication channels.
The ceremony of announcing the winners and the awarding ceremony was held after the end of the competition, with the presence of the media and the public on 03.03.2020., at the school from which the first prize winner came. The awards were attended by the award winners, their parents, the students of the hosting school, as well as the sponsors and partners of the Safe Internet Center. Sponsors and partners of Safer Internet Day prepared additional prizes, which were distributed at the event as part of a small prize quiz. Over 30 consolation prizes (wireless headphones, power banks etc.) were distributed at the event.
What we are doing to support the SID 2020 slogan of "Together for a better internet"…
Prior to Safer Internet Day itself, a campaign on social media outlets and on the website www.sigurnodijete.ba was launched with the goal of engaging as many children as possible to take part in the quiz and spread word about Safer Internet Day and our mission. IFS-EMMAUS used recommended tips and ideas for the social media campaign, which included badges, messages, hashtags and other online promotional tools. Our sponsors and partners also took part in promotion of Safer Internet Day. Following the example of previous years, we also contacted schools and ministries of education and asked them to spread the word among children in schools, in order to reach as many children as possible.
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. Namely, educational workshops were implemented in over 75 schools across BiH engaging over 4,000 children and parents, as well as over 1,000 teachers. IFS-EMMAUS has put constant effort into educating children, parents, youth and educators through lectures and workshops, and provide information on safer internet use.
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 centers have resulted in incorporating positive practices of other Safer Internet Centers in the work of SIC BiH, as well as networking with other centers for mutual benefit. The SIC has been established as a multi-purpose communication platform with 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.
Humanitarian organisation ‘International Forum of Solidarity – EMMAUS (IFS-EMMAUS)' 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 CSO, IFS operates on the whole BiH territory and is a member of the international organisation ‘EMMAUS International', which operates on four world continents; member of INHOPE and member of ECPAT International.
As a member of the BiH Child Protection Consortium, comprising UNICEF BiH, Save the Children and EMMAUS, it is currently conducting a three-year initiative to support the government of BiH and communities to address online CSEA: "End Violence Against Children: Preventing and Tackling Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Bosnia & Herzegovina".