In the spotlight: Safer Internet Centre Sweden

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 circumstances caused by COVID-19 restrictions, the visit to the Swedish Safer Internet Centre was carried out as an online meeting on 15 November 2021.  

Date 2022-04-20 Author BIK Team Section awareness, helplines, hotlines Topic media literacy/education Audience media specialist, organisations and industry, research, policy and decision makers, teachers, educators and professionals
Stylised map of Europe in yellow against a white background. Insafe logo

The meeting started with an overview of the stakeholders which the Swedish Safer Internet Centre cooperates with, in addition to updates on its current activities. The Swedish Safer Internet Centre is composed of two consortium members: the government agency Statens medieråd (the Swedish Media Council, SMC), which operates under the Ministry of Culture, is the coordinator of the Safer Internet Centre and operates the awareness centre, while Bris, an NGO focusing on children’s rights, operates the helpline. At present, the Swedish Safer Internet Centre does not include a hotline. However, efforts are underway to include the children's rights organisation ECPAT Sweden in the consortium, which already provides hotline services in the country.

It was also noted that Swedish Safer Internet Centre works in cooperation with many stakeholders and partners including government agencies, universities, NGOs and industry representatives, among others. In addition, the consortium members are currently in the process of aligning their focus and efforts within the remit of a Safer Internet Centre and, consequently, their work is gaining a broader European aspect. This information is being conveyed to the existing national target groups and stakeholders, while also establishing new connections at international level. 

Operated by the SMC, the awareness centre produces reports and educational tools, collaborates with national and international actors, develops methods to increase children's participation and influence, and arranges events and activities of external communications. 

The reports produced as a result of the research and analysis conducted by the SMC are published online, on the proprietary platform, as well as in a MIL (media and information literacy) resource portal, Kunskapsbanken. Publications include studies, reports and guides on various topics such as sharenting, mental health, media literacy, and children and young people’s rights on digital platforms, among others. SMC also provides a selection of educational tools targeting parents, guardians, educators and other professionals working with children and young people.   

Given that the Swedish Safer Internet Centre has fairly recently been re-established, and that the pandemic has meant various restrictions over the past years, youth participation activities have not yet been extensive. However, SMC plans to start involving Swedish youth in its activities to a greater level. In addition, the Swedish Safer Internet Centre will be recruiting young people as Media Literacy Ambassadors. One of these ambassadors will be a representative of the International Youth Think Tank (IYTT)

Providing support via phone (116 111), email and chat, the national helpline for children is a general helpline service offering information and support to children across a range of issues, including internet-related questions and concerns. The helpline operates on a 24-hour basis throughout the week and is staffed by professional counsellors. Extensive digital development is planned for the coming years to further strengthen the helpline. In addition, a helpline service for adults with questions and concerns is also provided. Both adult and youth helplines are operated by Bris. Moreover, in 2021, Bris also established regional support centres that will be used for face-to-face counselling with children. 

Further information about the Swedish 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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