The internet has become an essential part of our lives. We use it for work, entertainment, and staying in touch with loved ones. However, it's also a place where cyberbullying, hate speech, and other forms of harmful online behaviour can occur. This is why it's important to ensure that the internet is a safe and happy place for everyone.
The General Assembly of the United Nations declared 20 March the International Day of Happiness in resolution 66/281 of 12 July 2012 during the first-ever UN Conference on Happiness. The resolution was initiated by Bhutan who, according to the UN, has understood the value of national happiness since the seventies. Bhutan also implemented the goal of Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product.
The International Day of Happiness shows that the UN recognises the importance and relevance of happiness for all people in the world. According to the UN, happiness is a fundamental human goal. Therefore, the United National General Assembly calls for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all peoples”.
Better Internet for Kids for International Day of Happiness
Creating a happy and safe internet starts with promoting positive behaviour online. This includes treating others with kindness and respect, refraining from sharing harmful content, and speaking out against cyberbullying and other forms of online abuse. It's important to remember that our online behaviour has real-world consequences and that we should always think before we post.
Here on the Better Internet for Kids portal, we are fully committed to making sure that children are happy online. Have a look at our work, articles and resources for children:
- To contribute to the fight against hate speech, BEE SECURE, the Luxembourgish Safer Internet Centre has started a new campaign. The campaign called #NOHATEONLINE promotes more mutual respect on the internet and the prevention of hate speech. The campaign also aims to provide information about freedom of expression and legal boundaries.
- The Positive Online Content Campaign (POCC) aims to ensure positive online experiences for younger children through child-friendly digital offerings. In 2022, a new edition of the Positive Online Content Campaign was celebrated, focussing on all stakeholders.
- If you or another young person is struggling with well-being issues online, you can contact your national helpline for further information, guidance and support. Helplines provide information, advice and assistance to children, youth and parents on how to deal with harmful content, harmful contact and harmful conduct.
For more information about the International Day of Happiness 2023, visit the United Nations' website or follow the celebrations of the day on social media with the hashtag #InternationalDayOfHappiness.