Safer Internet Day 2021 in Belgium: act together for a better internet

Safer Internet Day, the worldwide day for a better internet, was back for its 18th edition. Turning the internet into a fun, fulfilling and safe space is more than ever a priority during this public health crisis, where children massively use screens for social contacts. An intergenerational dialogue is even more essential, as more than 60 per cent of children use the internet for more than four hours a day in Belgium. How can we facilitate this dialogue and promote a responsible and creative use of social media?

Date 2021-05-31 Author Belgian Safer Internet Centre Section awareness, sid Topic media literacy/education Audience children and young people, parents and carers, teachers, educators and professionals

Members of B-Bico consortium (Belgian Better Internet Consortium) are mobilising!

In Belgium, the Safer Internet Day is organized by the B-Bico consortium, which gathers all key participants of digital media educationfrom all over Belgium, building the foundations for a good use of online technologies everyday. The goals of the pioneers Child Focus, Mediawijs, Média Animation asbl, and the Conseil Supérieur de l’Education aux Medias (CSEM) are to supply field actors and to facilitate the dialogue between parents and children on the guidelines of online technologies.

A digital inspirational day aimed at field actors

This year, the B-Bico partners shared their prevention messages in a creative way. An inspirational #Betternet Inspiration Day involving 20 lecturers and field actors occurred online. Those actors took turns to share guidelines and educational tools around four themes: online inclusion, online information, internet and parenthood, and emotional and sexual life online.

Graphic design representing the #Betternet Inspiration Day campaign on 09.02.2021

Everyone can act at a local level

Acting together for a better internet is our responsibility. Many institutions, schools, libraries, field associations offer local activities listed on the website for the Safer Internet Day in Belgium. We must raise awareness among children by encouraging them to think about the consequences of their actions online, so they can handle the risks and make the most of their online experience.

Betternet.be: a toolbox for all

Lastly, Betternet.be is a website designed to facilitate the access to multiple initiatives in the Belgian digital media education. This website is aimed at parents, teachers, educators in search of resources, activities, information or workshops related to the use of internet among young people and children.

CyberSquad for children and youth, CyberSimple for parents: two platforms for a safer internet

For Safer Internet Day, Child Focus launched, thanks to the support of MolenGeek, Google and Test Achats, a large communication campaign to enable children to discover CyberSquad, a platform for mutual assistance for children and youth among peers.

Picture representing CyberSquad: never alone, together online.

It is an absolute priority for Child Focus to directly help and meet young people. Each and every one of them deserves to be listened to with kindness. Too many children face their problems online or offline alone and do not dare talk about it. Not looking for help exposes them to greater loneliness. With CyberSquad, we want to help them without leaving anyone behind: by offering a help space reserved to them, 100 per cent young and without taboos. 

Heidi De Pauw, CEO of Child Focus

Additionally, how could parents talk to their child about the use of social media and make this digital environment safe and user-friendly, while avoiding pitfalls? CyberSimple.be is another initiative from Test Achats and Google, working with Child Focus, which offers a toolbox for parents, children and youth.

Advice for parents, educators, teachers, carers, the government, experts and  media representatives is available on the ChildFocus website

The results of the #Generation2020  survey can be watched at a glance in this video by Child Focus Belgium.

Find out more about Safer Internet Day in Belgium. Moreover, find out more about the work and initiatives of the Belgian Safer Internet Centre, or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.

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