Safer Internet Day is celebrated every February in over 150 countries worldwide, with a theme of “Together for a better internet”. Each year, it invites different stakeholders to join forces and to do their best in providing a better internet for children and young people.
The Foundation for Social Welfare Services (FSWS) within the Ministry for the Family, Children’s Rights and Social Solidarity, coordinates the BeSmartOnline! Safer Internet Centre together with the Office of the Commissioner for Children, the Directorate for Learning and Assessment Programmes within the Ministry for Education and the Cyber Crime Unit within the Malta police force. The BeSmartOnline! project is committed to creating a better internet for children, and through its different awareness-raising initiatives it aims to safeguard children online, as well as supporting parents and carers, and professionals encountering online abuse situations.
The Maltese Safer Internet Centre organised a range of activities to commemorate Safer Internet Day 2022. A copy of the book Kiko and the Manymes, a Council of Europe Publication, will be distributed to all students in year three in all primary schools in Malta and Gozo by the Office of the Commissioner for Children. Different awareness sessions will take place in different schools to commemorate the day where children will be invited to participate in activities related to online safety. A copy of the book the Angry Wolf, a resource by the BeSmartOnline! consortium, will be distributed to all year two classes, and a poster with online safety tips will be distributed to all primary schools in Malta. Moreover, schools are being supported and encouraged to organise activities related to Safer Internet Day by accessing the link http://besmartonline.org.mt/sid-toolkit, where a number of resources can be found. The day will also be discussed on different television programmes locally by different members of the consortium.
Children and young people are spending a lot of their free time online and they can therefore be exposed to different online risks. Thus, it is crucial to make children aware of the online risks and provide them with the tools they can use if something goes wrong online. Moreover, it is important to teach them that the internet can also offer plenty of positive experiences and opportunities.
For more support and guidance regarding online safety for children, you can visit www.besmartonline.org.mt or call the support line 179 in Malta. Child sexual abuse material (CSAM) should be reported through www.childwebalert.gov.mt.
This article was originally published at https://fsws.gov.mt/en/Pages/FSWS-Press-Release.aspx and has been adapted and republished here with the permission of the Maltese Safer Internet Centre.
For more information about Safer Internet Day, and to discover how to get involved, visit www.saferinternetday.org.
Find out more about the work of the Maltese Safer Internet Centre, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services – or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.