Today, 15 September 2023, we celebrate the International Day of Democracy. The day is officially recognised as a United Nations observance. It provides an opportunity to reflect on the state of democracy worldwide. This year, the focus is on "Empowering the next generation," recognising young people's pivotal role in advancing democracy.
Creating a safer connected world: Research and policy
Research and policy
Through the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) agenda, the European Commission (EC), Safer Internet Centres (SICs) and other stakeholders regularly engage with partners from the fields of research and policy to strengthen the evidence base on children and young people’s online safety and protect, promote and advance their rights in the digital environment. Read on to discover more.
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On 4 May 2023 - the day of the restoration of the independence of the Republic of Latvia, the coordinator of the Latvian Safer Internet Centre (SIC) Maija Katkovska received the highest award of the Latvian state - the Cross of Recognition – for raising awareness about internet safety and media literacy for children in Latvia, and ensuring the work of the hotline fighting Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) online. The award was presented by the President of Latvia.
This year’s Safer Internet Forum (SIF) will, once again, benefit from the insights and contributions of young people. To ensure a successful and engaging event, a Safer Internet Forum Youth Advisory Group (SIF YAG) and the BIK Youth Panel have been convened to help guide the preparation and delivery of the event. Within these two groups, young people from across Europe will work collaboratively in the coming months to deliver an event that reflects the current aspirations and concerns of youth when it comes to their online lives.
The new European strategy for a Better Internet for Kids (BIK+ strategy), adopted in May 2022, emphasises the need to pay careful attention to children with special or specific needs, or from disadvantaged and vulnerable backgrounds. In the new strategy, the European Commission sets out clear priorities for young people with a range of vulnerabilities, with the overarching aim to ensure that no one is left behind, and that all children and young people have a voice when it comes to matters in the digital sphere.
On 26-28 April 2023, Meta - in collaboration with Think Young - organised an EU Youth Design Jam in Brussels, where young participants from across Europe gathered to address digital safety and privacy concerns. The event offered an invaluable opportunity for youth to collaborate, learn from industry professionals, and contribute their perspectives to shaping a safer online environment. Among the passionate participants were two Better Internet for Kids (BIK) Youth Ambassadors: Adrian from Spain and Molly from Ireland, who shared their experiences and insights gained during the Youth Design Jam.
The first Digital Services Act Stakeholder event took place on 27 June 2023, in Brussels and online, marking a significant milestone in shaping the future of digital services in the European Union. It provided a valuable opportunity for stakeholders to engage with the European Commission and contribute their insights for the implementation of the Digital Services Act (DSA).
Useful content on research and policy
Find out more about how research and policy is helping to create a better internet for children and young people.
Want to find out more about Safer Internet Centre (SIC) services and resources in your country?
Check out your SIC profile page to connect with national resources and sources of support, providing awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services.