This year is particularly special as it marks the 20th anniversary of the celebration of this milestone international day, and celebrations will take place once again all over the world. Over the last twenty years, Safer Internet Day has grown from an EU initiative to a truly global celebration, presently involving millions of people in over 180 countries and territories worldwide. The day is organised on behalf of the European Commission by the Insafe network (coordinated by European Schoolnet, a network of 34 European Ministries of Education) and INHOPE (the International Association of Internet Hotlines).
Safer Internet Day is a call to action for every stakeholder to contribute to a safer and better internet, especially for its youngest users. As 2023 will be the European Year of Skills, we want to highlight the learning opportunities available to all in the digital world, and the importance of ensuring that the largest possible number of users, and especially children and young people are adequately prepared to handle digital technologies responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively. Only then can they experience the online world as a place of knowledge, culture and personal growth.
For this edition of Safer Internet Day, we will additionally be reflecting on the new European strategy for a better internet for kids (BIK+) adopted in May 2022, which aims to ensure the digital participation, empowerment and protection of young users, and lays the foundations and vision of the internet we want to shape for the future. With the recently adopted Digital Services Act package and the Declaration on European Digital Rights and Principles, we are keen to see how safer, better and empowering online experiences for everyone will develop over the next twenty years.
Hans Martens, Head of Digital Citizenship at European Schoolnet and Coordinator of the Insafe network said:
While the unprecedented challenges posed by the pandemic are seemingly behind us, the last few years have shown our increased reliance on digital technologies, and it appears that this tendency won’t revert to the pre-pandemic situation, hinting at a progressively hybrid scenario in the future, with the coexistence and mutual interaction between the physical and online worlds. In this context, striving for a better internet for children and young people continues to be a priority for their safety, their wellbeing, and their personal development. We hope that the 20th anniversary of Safer Internet Day will be a reminder and opportunity for everyone to make a positive difference to the online world, on the day itself and throughout the year.
Sarah Willoughby, Content and Communications Expert and SID Campaign Coordinator at European Schoolnet, who leads the global coordination activities for the campaign said:
As always on Safer Internet Day, we’re looking forward to watching events unfold across the globe … especially on this special 20th edition of the event. As the years have rolled on, so have the opportunities and challenges of being online, with children getting connected at an ever-younger age. While SID provides an important day of focus for awareness raising, under the new BIK+ strategy we want to ensure that ensure that all children and young people are protected, empowered and respected each and every time they go online.
We invite you to join the movement and raise awareness about the celebrations taking place around the world. To learn more about Safer Internet Day:
- Visit the website www.saferinternetday.org and discover how you can get involved and what’s happening around you to celebrate the day;
- Discover the Safer Internet Day 2023 infographic;
- Stay up-to-date on the latest developments on Twitter (@safeinternetday) and Facebook (@SaferInternetDay), and with the hashtags #SID2023 and #SaferInternetDay.
On behalf of the Better Internet for Kids team, we wish you all a happy Safer Internet Day!