SIC+ programme: Republic of Moldova - International Centre La Strada
About the organisation
The International Centre La Strada is a national non-governmental organisation dedicated to upholding the rights of women and children to live free from violence. Over the past two decades, we have collaborated with governmental and civil society entities, justice system stakeholders, frontline law enforcement, healthcare and social service professionals, educational institutions, media outlets, and academia to promote and protect the rights of women and children. Our efforts focus on supporting survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual violence, online child sexual exploitation, and sexual abuse.
Every year, during Safer Internet Day, educational institutions and NGOs mobilise extensively to conduct various awareness-raising activities focused on child safety online. Throughout February, teachers lead informational sessions for students ranging from primary to secondary school. Furthermore, a national contest for teachers is organised to further promote awareness and engagement in this important cause. As the National SID Committee, La Strada Moldova implements the campaign of the international initiative in the Republic of Moldova, with the slogan "Together for a better internet". Our mission includes raising awareness about online safety, promoting responsible internet use, and fostering a positive digital environment.
Since 2013, La Strada has offered specialised online counselling services for children experiencing any form of online abuse through the www.siguronline.md platform. This platform provides information, guidance, emotional support, and referrals to free psychological and legal assistance services for children who have been victims of online sexual abuse. Additionally, the portal offers practical advice for avoiding risky actions and behaviours online. This resource enables parents and teachers to gain a better understanding of the internet, its associated risks for children, and the interests of children growing up in the digital age. It also empowers them to support children in any situation. Anyone concerned about a child's safety, including children themselves, parents, teachers, or caregivers, can use the online chat feature to speak with a specialist or consultant regarding any form of violence the child has experienced online.
The Siguronline Hotline, managed by the International Centre La Strada, became part of the INHOPE network on April 25, 2023, joining the fight against child sexual abuse material online. The Hotline offers the public and service providers an easy way to quickly and anonymously report suspected child sexual abuse materials. Photo and video images in which minors appear partially undressed, in nude poses or involved in real and simulated sexual activities can be reported to be removed from the online environment on the www.siguronline.md platform. The reporting procedure is confidential and free of charge.
Youth participation in promoting child safety online remains low. La Strada has been actively working to address this issue by conducting awareness-raising activities for children’s councils and youth centres, encouraging them to play a more active role in disseminating online safety tips to their peers. Additionally, as part of the National Contest for teachers on Child Safety Online, organised annually on Safer Internet Day, La Strada promotes youth participation in promoting safe internet use.
Furthermore, in 2019, La Strada established the Children’s Advisory Board, providing a platform for children to freely express their opinions on the content and delivery of online safety messages to their peers. The Board also suggests adjustments to the organisation's internal mechanisms to better respond to the needs of children and adolescents.
Through initiatives like these, we aim to not only empower children and young people but also emphasise the importance of their participation and involvement in decision-making processes that affect them. Their direct involvement enables us to develop more effective solutions tailored to their needs and based on a deeper understanding of the challenges they face.