Digital event on children’s rights online in Sweden for Safer Internet Day 2023

On the occasion of Safer Internet Day 2023, the Swedish Safer Internet Centre highlighted the digital reality of children and young people today and, based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, looked at how you can successfully work to promote their rights in the place where a large part of their daily lives takes place. The aim was to provide increased knowledge to guardians and professionals who address children and young people as part of their work. 

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In Sweden, the Safer Internet Centre is a collaboration between the Swedish Media Council (the awareness-raising centre), the children’s rights organisations Bris (helpline) and ECPAT Sweden (hotline). 

The Safer Internet Day 2023 webinar 

One of several challenges in the work going forward is to create an understanding that the internet is not something separate from the offline world, but an integrated part of children and young people's everyday lives. Another challenge is to raise awareness about the fact that children’s rights should also apply to the online world, and to explain what the different laws say so that online crimes are reported. In this situation, parents, carers and education professionals have a great responsibility to avoid that things that are against the law are being normalised, said Annika Engström, Safer Internet Centre Project Manager at the Swedish Media Council, after the webinar hosted on Safer Internet Day. 

Max Horttanainen, from the non-profit organisation Sverok, was invited to act as moderator at the webinar. Sverok is one of Sweden's largest youth associations with 44,000 members in a consortium f 1,700 associations developing and disseminating information on the gaming culture. Horttanainen was able to explain the youth perspective on issues regarding children and young people’s rights and their lives online. 

The webinar featured three speakers in addition to the moderator, the senior investigator and hotline manager from ECPAT Sweden, the senior children’s rights lawyer from Bris and the children’s rights officer from the Swedish Media Council. 

"We want our work to draw attention to vulnerabilities on the internet and highlight the support that is available through the Safer Internet Centres. Of course, we also want to listen to what needs and challenges different professional groups experience in this area", says Engström. 

In addition to the webinar, the Swedish Media Council also launched a child- and youth-friendly brochure on the latest General Comment 25 of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which highlights the rights of children and young people on the internet. This brochure was widely disseminated through the webinar and reached new audiences such as school librarians and school counsellors. 

As the event was digital, people from all over Sweden could participate during the broadcasted webinar and watch the recording afterwards. The webinar will be used in future communication activities with the Swedish Safer Internet Centre as well. Having representatives from all three branches of the Swedish Safer Internet Centre also gave the viewers a better understanding of these important and complicated issues. 

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

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