The speakers of the press conference were Maija Katkovska, head of the Latvian Safer Internet Centre, Oļegs Lavčinovskis, head of the Sexual Crime Combating Unit of the State Police and Gunita Kovaļevska, deputy head of the State Inspectorate for Protection of Children’s Rights.
The campaign focused on the issue of grooming on the internet, as the number of reports registered and the circulation of content displaying child exploitation on the internet is growing rapidly. More specifically, there has been a significant increase in the number of such inappropriate content stored on Latvian servers. The aim of the social campaign was thus to raise awareness about the issue, to educate children and young people as to prevent them from becoming victims of child abuse, and to increase the knowledge of both children and parents and carers by providing a guided test and practical information on how to recognise whether a child might be a victim of grooming, how to talk to a child about the risks of online grooming and what are the first steps to take when we are witnessing online grooming.
Self-help test for children and parents
A self-help test is available at sos.drossinternets.lv to help recognise grooming on the internet. Children and young people, as well as parents and educators are invited to fill out the self-help test developed by experts from the Latvian Safer Internet Centre and the State Police to test how safe the online friendships developed by the young person, to learn how to recognise grooming cases and where to seek for help.
In the video promoting the campaign, parents and carers are asked 'Do you know who your child’s online friends are?' and children and young people are encouraged to 'Test your online friendships'.
Safer Internet Day 2022 lesson plan
The Latvian SIC developed the Safer Internet Day lesson plan - three presentations for primary school students to strengthen pupils’ media literacy skills and promote a safe and meaningful use of the internet. The presentations included practical examples and tasks to be used in the classroom, including with quizzes to test knowledge and skills. Each presentation was accompanied by recommendations for the teachers and educators, and links to useful additional materials.
The presentations covered the following topics:
- Who and is communicating to you and why are they? Being aware of the different types of online communication;
- Analysis of news headlines (to avoid clickbait);
- Improvement of critical thinking and fact-checking skills.
Safer Internet Day celebrated across the country
In addition, more than 70 events for children and teenagers were organised in schools, libraries, and youth centres across Latvia to celebrate Safer Internet Day, involving 6068 participants including children, parents and carers, teachers, and educators. You can look at the mapping of the SID2022 activities across Latvia to have a better understanding of all the planned initiatives.
Youth Panel online meeting dedicated to Safer Internet Day
As a part of the Safer Internet Day activities, the Latvian SIC hosted a Youth Panel online meeting (JAP). In the meeting, young people shared their thoughts about SID celebrations worked on the creation of a TikTok account for the Safer Internet Centre to reach more young people and raise awareness of a safe and responsible use of the internet among adolescents. They brainstormed and generated ideas for content to be posted there.
Find out more about Safer Internet Day in Latvia. Alternatively, find more information about the work of the Latvian Safer Internet Centre, including their awareness raising, helpline, hotline, and youth participation services – or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.