SIC+ programme: Bosnia and Herzegovina - Association "Humanitarian Organization International Forum of Solidarity - EMMAUS" (Safer Internet Centre in BiH)


Doboj Istok and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina



About the organisation

International Forum of Solidarity – EMMAUS was established in 1999 with the aim of providing assistance to vulnerable population groups. It represents one of the largest NGOs in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) that operates within the whole country. IFS-EMMAUS has established and operates the first Safer Internet Centre in BiH for reporting, awareness raising and education of children and the general BiH public on online child abuse and exploitation, consisting of four components: hotline, helpline, information centre and youth panel. The centre implements a comprehensive programme on the prevention of online child abuse and exploitation through digital technologies in cooperation with the ministries, law enforcement agencies, institutions and organisations.


Focus points include:

  • Constant and comprehensive education of children, parents, teachers, and other professionals about protection and safety in the digital environment.
  • Cooperation with all relevant institutions and organisations throughout the country with the aim of awareness-raising.
  • Usage of social networks, media, and printed materials (leaflets, posters, story books, etc.) for preventive and information campaigns about digital technologies, dangers, and ways of protection.


The centre engages a counsellor who provides continuous support through a helpline (e-mail and phone calls). Although face-to-face counselling sessions are not planned through the helpline, the centre recognises the extreme need for this kind of support and ensures those sessions as needed. These interventions follow the real needs of children and adults in the process of dealing with issues and are shown to be a great supporting counselling tool (and the only one available for children and adults).


The centre engages a hotline analyst who constantly works on receiving and analysing reports and communicates with law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and other relevant actors in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Communication and exchange of information also takes place with other hotlines operating as members of INHOPE (The International Association of Internet Hotlines). The hotline analyst also provides support and answers to all reports related to information on how to protect from any form of violence against children.

Youth participation

Youth participation is promoted through the establishment and coordination of a youth panel, where high school students are educated on online safety and implement peer-to-peer activities. The youth panel is formed with the aim of including children and youth in the work of the Safer Internet Centre so that they can share their opinions, knowledge, and experiences, and thus contribute to greater awareness of their peers and other citizens regarding safety in the digital environment.