Ireland has addressed in part the European Strategy for a Better Internet for Children (BIK) in national public policies. BIK-related issues have been addressed in a number of separate policies which directly address BIK-related issues. The overarching policy framework for youth is Better Outcomes, Better Futures (Department of Children and Youth Affairs, 2014) which incorporates elements of BIK strategy. The Action Plan on Bullying (Department of Education and Skills, 2013) is an important inter-departmental government policy report and action plan dealing with combatting bullying in schools and includes provision for schools to update their policies to incorporate social media use. The Law Reform Commission's Final Report on Harmful Communications and Digital Safety (2016) deals with new proposed legislation in digital bullying, harassment and abuse. The Report of the Internet Content Governance Advisory Group (ICGAG) (Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, 2014) outlines a proposed framework for online safety governance.
Policy design is distributed across four to six ministries. Policy design is led at ministerial level in relation to educational policies, tools and regulation for a safer environment and in terms of legislation and law enforcement against child sexual abuse and exploitation. The Office for Internet Safety, located within the Department of Justice and Equality, acts as the main coordinating body with responsibility for the Safer Internet Ireland project. The Internet Safety Advisory Committee (ISAC) acts as a multi-stakeholder forum for relevant groups to contribute experience in the area of internet safety and advises the Office for Internet Safety/Department of Justice & Equality on such matters. National data collection on BIK-related issues is irregular. The national longitudinal study of children and youth in Ireland, Growing Up in Ireland, includes a small number of items related to children's use of the internet in the 9-year-old child questionnaire.
Government ministries take the lead in carrying activities in relation to BIK with the exception of Pillar 1, quality online content for children, where limited support is provided by the national broadcaster. The Safer Internet Centre (SIC) is the primary agency for awareness-raising activities and contributes to educational resources and in-service training for teachers. Youth consultation on BIK-related issues is facilitated by the Webwise Youth Advisory Panel part of the Safer Internet project, and comprises 30 young people. There is also a National Strategy on Children and Young People's Participation in Decision Making. Youth representation, for instance, formed part of the ICGAG report and members of the Irish Second Level Students' Union (ISSU) were consulted as part of the process.
Breadth of activities
Breadth of activities outlines progress made in Member States delivering initiatives at the national level. Using the full range of recommendations contained in the BIK strategy, the following tables highlight which actions are supported and whether they have increased, stayed the same or decreased in prominence in the last three years for each of the BIK pillars.