The conference took place on Tuesday, 11 February 2020 in Bucharest, with the purpose of addressing the topics of child exploitation and the proliferation of child sexual abuse materials online. It brought together representatives of the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police, the National Authority for the Rights of Disabled Persons, Children and Adoption, the National Centre for Response in Incidents of Cyber Security, the Cybercrime Programme Office of the Council of Europe, the U.S. Embassy in Romania and International Justice Mission.
Representatives of public authorities provided procedural details and statistics on how to work with and intervene in cases of child sexual abuse, and foreign speakers addressed the issue from a global perspective. Each partner present expressed their willingness to further collaborate in order to prevent and combat the sexual exploitation of children online, and discussions focused on how education and prevention are key to tackling child sexual exploitation.
The participants in the room were representatives of companies, psychologists, teachers, social workers, school counsellors, other specialists and members of the press. They found the presentations useful and engaged in debates and discussions at the end of the event.
During the conference, the 2019 results of the Safer Internet Programme in Romania were also presented. Thus, during the previous year, educational activities consisting of informative sessions, school competitions and community actions developed with the support of 1,000 volunteers, teachers, trainers and specialists, involved over 87,000 children and 17,000 parents nationally.
The overall attendance and impact of the event was great, as many media channels covered it, with twelve national televised reports, eight radio, one print and over 73 online articles.
"A world without fear" discussions and activities in Romanian classrooms
Due to changes in the school calendar, Safer Internet Day (SID) 2020 was celebrated on a school day, rather than on vacation as it usually is the case in Romania. Therefore, besides the press conference, the Romanian SIC seized this opportunity and launched an educational initiative dedicated to celebrating Safer Internet Day in schools.
Teachers were invited to use the videos from the "A world without fear" campaign, launched at the end of 2019, to start conversations with children about cyberbullying and online risks in general, but also to promote the Romanian Helpline. Over 1,100 teachers responded positively to the SIC's invitation and organised educational activities in their classrooms, between Monday, 10 and Friday, 14 February, involving approximately 33,000 children and adolescents across the country.
For more information about Safer Internet Day activities in Romania, visit the Romanian Safer Internet Centre's Safer Internet Day profile page.
Find out more information about the work of the Romanian Safer Internet Centre (SIC) generally, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services, or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.