SAFER INTERNET FORUM

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Download the Safer Internet Forum (SIF) 2019 brochure for the
detailed agenda, deep dive session descriptions,
and speaker and contributor biographies.

Please note, the keynote presentation (09:45 - 11.00 CET approx) will be livestreamed on the day - watch it at http://streaming.sif.eun.org.

Building on the European Strategy for a Better Internet for Children, the Safer Internet Forum (SIF) is an annual international conference delivered under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). Bringing together young people, parent and teacher representatives, industry and government policy makers, technological and awareness-raising experts, and political, educational and social leaders from Europe and beyond, this one-day event will take a multi-stakeholder approach to considering the impact of technology on individuals and society.

Safer Internet Forum 2019 will take place on Thursday, 21 November 2019 in Brussels, Belgium. With a theme of "From online violence to digital respect", this year's edition will explore digital respect as an antidote to online violence in various forms. The #DigitalRespect4Her campaign, launched by the European Commission earlier in 2019, highlights the challenges for girls and young women, especially, and an inclusive and respectful online culture for all EU citizens is a European Commission priority. Children and young people, in particular, should feel safe and respected online; equally, they should feel able and empowered to be active public participants in digital life.

Against this background, SIF 2019 will open with a keynote address during which Thordis Elva, writer, speaker and journalist, will first provide an overview of the key issues at stake when considering online violence, including online hate speech, image-based sexual violence, and other forms of technology-facilitated gender-based violence. She will then go on to elaborate on some of the strategies and resources that have already been put in place to address the issues, including the role that government, policy makers and regulators can and are playing, while also looking at some of the successful campaigns that have raised awareness of the issues. During her keynote, Thordis will share examples of good practice and give a call to action for participants to reflect on what they can be doing to encourage and foster digital respect.

Given the importance of youth participation in the Safer Internet Forum, the opening keynote will be followed by a youth-led session. Starting from a broad understanding of what digital violence and respect means to them, BIK Youth Panellists will deliver an upbeat and interactive session using the "flipped classroom" model with the aim of shifting the consultation perspective. In advance of SIF, BIK Youth Panellists have been working collaboratively to identify a set of concrete problems, based on their personal views and experiences of digital violence. During the session, they will share some of the challenges they face, while explaining how digital respect should look in order to make a difference. Forum participants will then take part in small-group discussions – together with the young people present – in order to deepen their understanding of what is at stake, while building towards remedial strategies and solutions.
 
The afternoon will be given over to a series of highly interactive "deep dive" sessions. Through detailed discussion, debate and practical exercises, forum attendees will have the opportunity to explore issues around online sexual violence and misogyny in gaming; sexual violence against men and boys; online sexual harassment (with a focus on the successes of the deShame project aims to increase reporting of online sexual harassment among young people, and improve multi-sector cooperation in preventing and responding to this behaviour); online hate (with a focus on the SELMA project, which builds upon a social and emotional learning (SEL) approach to empower young people to become agents of change); and using AI as a solution to some of the problems encountered.
 
A parallel deep dive stream, INHOPE@20, will provide a celebration of the work of the INHOPE network as it turns 20, reviewing what has been achieved over that time in combatting illegal online content and, specifically, child sexual abuse material (CSAM).
 
The final plenary session of the day will showcase a number of inspiring stories of how young people have used social media and online platforms to bring about positive change. Emma Holten was a victim of non-consensual pornography back in 2011; she then launched an online campaign/activist project to successfully raise awareness of the issues. Gina Martin was a victim of upskirting and successfully campaigned to change UK law and make this a crime. Her success has spurred on lots of others across the world to take similar action. Sara Sjölander worked on an online harassment platform Näthatshjälpen, where victims of hatred and harassment online can get support and advice on specific situations. She is also working with Flickaplattformen, an organisation that fights to improve the life of girls.
 
Following the formal close of the day by the European Commission, participants are warmly invited to remain for a reception, hosted by INHOPE in celebration of its 20 years of operation.
 
 
Alternatively, see the full agenda below:
SIF 2019 agenda

Please note, the keynote presentation (09:45 - 11.00 approx) will be livestreamed on the day - watch it at http://streaming.sif.eun.org.

To find out what happened at past editions of SIF, check out the links on the right.
 
In case of queries regarding any aspect of SIF, please contact the Safer Internet Forum Secretariat.

Explore previous editions of SIF: