In the spotlight: Safer Internet Centre Poland

As part of the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) Quality Assurance Programme (QAP), the Insafe-INHOPE Coordination Teams are jointly conducting a set of ten country visits to national Safer Internet Centres (SICs) to better understand what is happening in the Member States: monitoring emerging issues and challenges, identifying good practices to be shared, and harvesting the results of the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) policy. Due to the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a visit planned to the Polish Safer Internet Centre had to be converted into an online meeting that took place on 9 September 2020, bringing together a group of diverse stakeholders and SIC consortium partners. 

Date 2021-07-09 Author BIK Team Section awareness, helplines, hotlines Topic media literacy/education Audience media specialist, organisations and industry, research, policy and decision makers

The meeting kicked off with a stakeholder roundtable which aimed to hear from national stakeholders and strategic partners about their current activities and collaboration with the national SIC. For Safer Internet Centre Poland, the following partners were present:

  • Represented in this meeting by its Managing Director Dominika Urbańska-Galanciak, the Association of Producers and Distributors of Entertainment Software (SPIDOR) aims to collect and disseminate data as well as information on rules and regulations governing the video game market from production to consumption. SPIDOR also aims to present the position of its members, which include companies in the digital entertainment sector such as Sony, EA and Ubisoft, towards state administration bodies on issues related to legal regulations in the sphere of the Association's activities. These goals are achieved by conducting educational activities, publishing training materials, newsletters, periodicals and other materials constituting information carriers, by organising conferences, seminars and meetings devoted to the Polish video game market, as well as through cooperation with the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) and related foreign associations. SPIDOR is a member of the Polish Safer Internet Centre’s Advisory Board and cooperates on the projects of the SIC related to the topic of gaming. 
  • The Office of Electronic Communications (UKE) supervises the telecommunications services and intervenes in issues and complaints. UKE promotes the advancement of technology for electronic communication and post. UKE also serves to protect consumers by issuing licenses to communication providers. Its website offers information about recent activity within the sector, laws, and general consumer issues. Moreover, UKE cooperates in various events of the Polish Safer Internet Centre, most notably in the annual International Conference which is co-organised with the German Safer Internet Centre.
  • The Polish Committee for UNESCO builds international cooperation in the field of education, science, culture, information and communication and acts as a liaison between the UNESCO and Polish government institutions as well as non-governmental organisations. Moreover, it also supports initiatives of private entities that contribute to the implementation of the UNESCO programme in Poland. The Committee’s collaboration with the Polish Safer Internet Centre is mainly in the form of information sharing through its Advisory Board participation. It also raises awareness about the Polish Safer Internet Centre during its activities with children and schools.

Furthermore, the Safer Internet Centre also noted during the meeting that among its many stakeholders, the Orange Foundation is its main partner in many activities. There is a longstanding relationship between the SIC and the Orange Foundation. The SIC presents its plans and projects to the Foundation for them to decide which ones to support or participate in. In contrast, the Safer Internet Centre approaches other partners on a more case-by-case basis. The Orange Foundation’s involvement includes funding or financial support to various activities or projects.

The meeting continued with updates on the current activities of the Polish Safer Internet Centre, which is run by a consortium consisting of Naukowa i Akademicka Sieć Komputerowa (NASK), which coordinates the SIC, and the Empowering Children Foundation.

In terms of awareness-raising activities, the centre conducts educational and media campaigns, and organises the International Conference entitled "Keeping Children and Young People Safe Online", as well as periodical expert seminars. Moreover, the awareness centre prepares promotional materials and expert publications, and organises the annual Safer Internet Day (SID) celebrations in Poland. 

In addition to an extensive update on the various awareness-raising activities organised by the Safer Internet Centre, some discussion focused on the organisation of the youth panel. The youth panel of the Polish SIC, entitled the “Congress of Young Internauts (KoMIn)” is an initiative established by NASK to create a platform of communication for professionals, pupils and teachers. Typically three to ten panellists from 12 schools are involved in the work of the Polish SIC by attending periodic meetings (around three times a year) during which they are updated about the SIC’s latest initiatives. They are also provided with discussion topics in the area of online safety and provide their feedback to the SIC in this regard.

The helpline of the Polish Safer Internet Centre is run by the Empowering Children Foundation and has two separate lines for children and youth (116 111) and for parents and professionals concerned about children's safety (800 100 100). It offers support for young internet users, parents and professionals in cases related to threats connected with the use of the internet. Common problems covered by the helpline include grooming, abusive behaviour by peers, contact with harmful content, and excessive use of computers and the internet.

Dyż, the hotline service of the Polish Safer Internet Centre, is operated by a team of experts from NASK acting as a contact point for reporting illegal content on the internet, especially related to the sexual abuse of children. In 2020, the hotline took more than 2,000 actions, reporting that the majority of illegal content analysed by the hotline was removed within 24 hours.

It is worth noting that the Safer Internet Centre’s consortium members work in close partnership with each other and collaborate actively in various projects. Furthermore, the SIC has developed a strong network of partners and stakeholders including government agencies, academia and private companies, most notably the Orange Foundation

Further information about the Polish Safer Internet Centre more generally can be found on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) public portal, including links to its national website and other contact information. Similar information can be found on the BIK portal for all Safer Internet Centres in Europe.

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