Slovak Safer Internet Centre
About the organisation
The Slovakian Safer Internet Centre exists to promote a safer and better use of the internet and mobile technologies among children and young people.
The awareness centre (AC) is a crucial part of SK SIC with the responsibility for informing and empowering children and youth (including children and youth at risk as described further), parents, teachers, social workers, and care-takers about better and safer use of the internet, building on enhanced digital resource centres (repositories). Specifically, the awareness centre aims to:
- devise informative awareness campaigns and resources targeting children, parents, grandparents, care-takers, teachers and social workers on how to give children the digital skills and tools they need to take advantage of the internet and to navigate safely online, promote awareness of parents and children on online quality content and experiences, and make the associated resources available through their services.
- engage with children and young people from different demographic groups by setting up a youth platform, including organising regular youth participation activities, allowing them to express their views and pool their knowledge and experiences of using online technologies.
- evaluate the impact of the awareness campaigns on the target groups and provide qualitative and quantitative feedback at European level through the core service platform.
- establish and maintain partnerships and promote dialogue and exchange of information with key players (government agencies, ISPs, industries, user organisations, education stakeholders) at national level.
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National online helpline services for reporting and dealing with harmful contact (grooming), conduct (cyberbullying) and content are operated by consortium partner, Linka destkej istoty (LDI; Child safety line). More specifically, the Slovak helpline undertakes to:
- offer one-to-one conversations, online and on the telephone, with trained helpers in real time to give advice and support to parents and children on issues related to their use of online technologies.
- draw up operating guidelines in compliance with national law, including data protection rules.
- ensure that reporting mechanisms are interoperable both with the core platform and with reporting via service providers such as social networking services.
- provide qualitative and quantitative feedback at European level through the core service platform.
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The Slovak hotline, operated by eSlovensko Bratislava, has been in operation since 2010 and is responsible for receiving and managing reports and data on online illegal child sexual abuse. More specifically, the hotline is in charge of:
- the establishment and operation of a hotline, accessible by PC and mobile devices, to receive information from the public relating to illegal content of child pornography and, if deemed appropriate, racism and xenophobia.
- drawing up a manual of procedures in cooperation with law enforcement authorities and in accordance with best practice guidelines.
- cooperation with the network of hotlines and fully use and connect to the technical infrastructure provided by the EU core service platform.
- undertaking a preliminary assessment of the legality of the content reported and trace its origin, and forward the report to the body for action (ISP, police or corresponding hotline) including systematic notice to the host provider of content assessed as child pornography and monitoring of the take down; forward suspicions of illegal content to certain stakeholders (ISP, police or corresponding hotline) for further assessment.
- ensuring the compatibility with data formats of the EU core service platform and provide statistics required for measuring the impact (tight collaboration with INHOPE network and the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak republic).
The youth panel is a national empowerment network of young representatives used as an advisory body on safer internet issues.
Young people from the national youth panel contribute to effective project implementation by expressing their views and sharing their knowledge and experience about online technology issues. The youth panel helps to tailor the activities and tools within the project to better address the needs of young people.
Feedback is sought from the panel on already-implemented activities and to follow the trends in the age group of teens. The youth panel has a national structure of four key regional parts of the country formed with about 8-12 members in each, who meet regularly. Focus group methodology is used during the meetings, together with brainstorming, structured and moderated discussion.
The Slovak Safer Internet Centre (SK SIC) has operated since 2007 while continuously implementing the goals and aims of the Safer Internet programme, Safer Internet Plus programme and CEF in Telecom instrument.
In the past 10 years, SK SIC has established a strong position within the field of protection of children/youth in the virtual space. SK SIC has contributed to best-practices in Europe and globally through 1,856 tools developed.
SK SIC operates 10 websites, 7 social media pages totally having 4,184,859 million views and 2,535,600 downloads of online tools during 2015-2016. SK SIC has disseminated 115,200 offline tools. There have been 9,420 media outputs published. SK SIC has trained over 5,200 adults (teachers, parents, social workers, etc.), 6,700 children/youth and within the empowerment area has involved 159,450 children/youth.
Within the hotline operation work, there have been over 2,037 reports received. SK SIC is also active in the legislation process concerning safer internet issues.
Since the establishment of SK SIC in 2007, the consortium includes two stable non-profit organisations (eSlovensko Bratislava, SC UNICEF/LDI) supported in time alternately by the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Interior and, in the last period, by the Ministry of Education of Slovak Republic (MESR SR).
Besides this, SK SIC involves all key and strategic stakeholders, public organisations as well as other ministries (aside from the previously mentioned ones, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family). The emphasis given on strengthening the collaboration with the municipalities that are the founders and umbrella organisations above elementary schools is the key feature within the national support, while SK SIC actively collaborates with higher territorial units that are founders of secondary schools. This way there is guaranteed a maximum impact in terms of the dissemination of SK SIC tools and activities organised for children and youth, but also for teachers and so on.
The most relevant key organisations actively contributing to SK SIC activities with dedicated representatives are participating in a national Advisory Board (AB) bringing together 17 public organisations (state/municipalities), non-profit (NGOs etc.) and private (industry) stakeholders to ensure effective co-operation on awareness-raising activities, the work of the helpline, hotline and also the youth platform and youth participation.
The Advisory Board acts as the main project decision-making structure and channel of communication among involved stakeholders active in the field and contributing to the SK SIC operation. Within the national cooperation, SK SIC involves further industry organisations, major communication service providers and ISP associations, significant non-governmental organisations and networks dealing with childcare, representatives of university researchers into children's use of new media, representatives of teachers and parents, other key NGOs and networks relevant in the field, government agencies and networks, law-enforcement agencies, representatives of the youth platform and other youth organisations/networks, municipalities, and so on. In total, this means the involvement of an additional 20 organisations and 86 municipalities.