Belgian Safer Internet Centre
About the organisation
The Belgian Safer Internet Centre exists to promote a safer and better use of the internet and mobile technologies among children and young people.
As an awareness centre, Child Focus offers children, parents, teachers and other professionals, advice and tips on how to avoid risks when using the internet and take advantage of its potential. Child Focus works with a large network of national stakeholders to develop tools, give advice and disseminate information. All material is available in Dutch, French and occasionally also in German.
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Child Focus helpline was launched in June 2011 with the aim of offering children, young people, parents and the general public advice on how to deal with harmful contacts, conduct and content. The helpline is also closely linked to Child Focus's awareness-raising website. To facilitate contact with its diverse target groups, the services of the Child Focus Helpline are available via the website, by phone, SMS and email.
In 2002, Child Focus created the first civil hotline in Belgium to fight against child abuse images on the internet: www.stopchildporno.be. The hotline works closely with specialised law enforcement agencies and, thanks to this collaboration, Child Focus is a privileged partner of the Belgian police. The hotline is well known among the general public and highly consulted. The hotline organises awareness-raising campaigns in order to improve its visibility and can be reached via the website, by phone and by email.
Young people contribute to the design of awareness-raising actions, tools and materials. The consultation strategy for young people consists of two different pillars. Firstly, the SIC is in permanent contact with French- and Dutch-speaking young people via two Facebook groups with 10 participants each. Participants are aged between 13 and 17 years old and inform the SIC about what they are doing on the web and why. Secondly, the SIC regularly sets up meetings with larger groups of young people in order to obtain representativeness and enlarge its scope.
Email address: email@example.com
Child Focus has developed educational tools aimed at youngsters and their educators. In 2016, the Belgian helpline launched a large successful communication campaign "Surf Safe" for the second time. This year, youngsters from our youth participation work volunteered during these 10 days and were able to give some peer-to-peer support.
In 2017 we developed the website www.sexting.be. This website gives tools and tips about sexting. This website is having great success due to our 360° approach: specific material is available not only for the youngsters but also for teachers and for parents. We believe that our message should be dedicated for everyone.
The Belgian Safer Internet Centre (SIC) has many supporters, including schools, and organisations working with youth, parents and professionals. Our two main partners in the BBICO (Belgian Better Internet Consortium) project are leading associations in the awareness field: Media-Animation for the French-speaking part, Mediawijs for the Dutch-speaking part.
At government level, we are working closely with the following actors:
- The Ministry of Education (in charge of the media literacy programme).
- The Flemish Ministry of Media and Youth.
- The Ministry of the Digital Agenda.
- The Ministry of Interior Affairs (the Belgian Cyber Security Centre).
- The Ministry of Economics.
All relevant NGOs and knowledge centres are members of our Advisory Group or Consortium.
The most important and popular online platform among youngsters in Belgium, private partners in the telecommunication sector, mobile providers and ISPA are members of our Industry Involvement Working Group.