International Day of Friendship 2021

On 30 July 2021, we celebrate the International Day of Friendship. The global observance was initiated by the United Nations General Assembly in 2011 to promote "friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals" as a way to "inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities".

Date 2021-07-30 Author BIK Team Section awareness, news Topic love, relationships, sexuality (online), media literacy/education Audience children and young people, parents and carers, teachers, educators and professionals

The day was proclaimed with a resolution emphasising the need to involve young people, as the leaders of the future, in community activities promoting diversity, international understanding, and respect for different cultures and backgrounds through the simplest spirit of human solidarity – friendship.

Similarly, every year the United Nations (UN) encourage governments, international organisations and civil society groups to create activities and initiatives to celebrate the occurrence, with the aim of contributing to the collective efforts towards promoting a constructive dialogue and exchange of ideas among civilisations, solidarity, mutual respect and reconciliation.

Here on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) portal, we focus on issues related to online friendship and relationships, connecting generations, and celebrating diversity online. Indeed, as a consequence of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent prolonged lockdown measures, the internet has now become the main way for many children and young people to socialise with peers and keep in touch with friends and relatives. However, in doing so, they are increasingly exposed to potentially harmful content and conduct. This calls for increased attention and awareness about young people’s use of digital devices as a means to foster social interactions.

The Insafe network of European Safer Internet Centres (SICs) has developed many pedagogical resources on the topic, in a variety of European languages and for different audiences. Whether you are a parent, a carer, a teacher or an educator, you will find some pertinent resources to get started on online friendships and relationships below:

For more resources, visit the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) resource gallery.

Learn more about the International Day of Friendship on the United Nations website.

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