Safer Internet Day 2021 in Malta

Together with the rest of the world, Malta recently commemorated Safer Internet Day (SID); a day of celebration marked in February each year to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. The campaign has grown beyond its traditional geographic zone and is now celebrated in approximately 200 countries reaching millions of people worldwide. With the global theme of “Together for a better internet”, the day calls upon all stakeholders to come together to make the internet a safer and better place for all, especially for children and young people.

Valetta, Malta, seen from the sky

Safer Internet Day activities in Malta are organised under the umbrella of the BeSmartOnline! project which brings together the efforts of national stakeholders working towards a safer use of the internet by children and youths. The primary objective of the BeSmartOnline! project is to raise awareness and educate minors, carers and educators on the safe use of the internet; establishing, operating and promoting reporting facilities for internet abuse; and supporting respective victims. On this day, virtual activities took place in all schools around the island. For this reason, a number of digital resources were produced for both primary and secondary students.

Once again, the Office of the Commissioner for Children encouraged and supported schools to organise activities to celebrate Safer Internet Day. Two videos were also developed which addressed the issues of digital footprints and posting certain photos to increase likes and acceptance, and the impact of the media on body image. These topics were highlighted by the Youth Panel who also contributed to the drafting of the scripts.

A toolkit for PSCD (personal, social and carer development) teachers in middle and senior schools was created purposely to celebrate the day. Lesson plans were then drafted by the BeSmartOnline! project team to complement the videos which were then provided to PSCD teachers as part of a toolkit. A video was also created with messages related to this year’s theme and shared on social media to reach the different target audiences. Additionally, a press release was published to commemorate the day and members of the BeSmartOnline! project team were present on different TV slots to promote it.

The internet offers many opportunities for young people and we all should take an active role in encouraging them to discover these opportunities and to use new technologies to develop their interests and their talents, while also ensuring their safety.

Find out more about Safer Internet Day in Malta. Alternatively, find out more about the work of the Maltese Safer Internet Centre, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services – or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.

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