12th edition of the BIK bulletin: SIF and YEP 2017 and SID 2018 updates!

In each edition of the BIK bulletin, we look at a topical issue – this time round, we look back at the recent Safer Internet Forum (SIF) and the preceding European Youth Panel (YEP).

The 2017 edition of SIF

On 23 November 2017, more than 230 stakeholders in the field of child online safety from some 39 countries worldwide met in Brussels at SIF 2017 to discuss the latest trends, risks and solutions related to youth online safety and empowerment. In line with the Forum theme of "From children's tech to resilient youth – how to foster wellbeing online", the event included a number of diverse presentations and discussions, ranging from the challenges of the emergence of the internet of toys on children and young people; how we can balance the need for some managed risk to develop resilience against the concerns about exposure to inappropriate or harmful content, contact or conduct online; the scale of the challenge being faced in tackling child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online; and particular considerations for supporting vulnerable groups online.

Additionally, a session hosted by the self-regulatory Alliance to better protect minors online allowed participants to hear about some of the approaches industry are taking to keeping their users safe on their services and platforms, with young people equally responding with their views as key benefactors of such initiatives. Check out the dedicated SIF page to learn more about the event, including a report on the proceedings, a Twitter Moment, a Storify and photo gallery.

On the previous day, 15 youth panellists from 13 European countries also met in Brussels at the European Youth Panel (YEP), an annual event which always precedes SIF. The gathering marked the official launch of a new programme of youth-focussed activity.

What is YEP all about?

Growing up in an increasingly-connected digital world, today's youth are constantly trying to keep pace with new online services and media, while keeping themselves safe online. In parallel, they are often faced with a whole host of questions on online life from parents, educators and carers, and sometimes even from other youngsters who trust their peers with online concerns. Giving youth the opportunity to work together, bringing in their knowledge and first-hand expertise in the digital field, whether as YouTube stars, those with a grasp of European legislation, or those speaking up at high-level meetings, has proved that young people definitely have what it takes to co-create a BIK Youth Programme. The main objective of this new phase of activity is to raise awareness about the importance of involving youth participants in safer/better internet discussions.

Many smaller projects, campaigns and initiatives have been created under the BIK umbrella over recent years, all upholding the aim of creating a better internet for children and young people. Reflecting this, and aiming to give youth a one-stop-shop to share their views on how to build a better internet, a new BIK Youth minisite was launched to coincide with YEP/SIF. The platform provides a space to present ideas, views and experiences from youth, while also reporting on national, European and international youth participation models, practices and success stories.

Youth participation scenarios are at the heart of the new BIK Youth Programme. Using co-creation methods, young people will work together with other stakeholders to develop online safety guidance, learning and campaigning materials, and contribute to decision-making processes to help create a better internet.

Back in September 2017, youth panellists from the European network of Safer Internet Centres (SICs) started working together in online meetings, identifying gaps and windows of opportunity for them to develop youth participation scenarios. The European Youth Panel (YEP) then brought them together, face to face, in Brussels to share their work and views on how to foster a safer and better internet for children and young people, implementing a peer-to-peer youth participation scenario based on a better internet principle.

The youth panellists were keen to ensure that they identified the missing pieces in youth digital policies and practices and, through their work, sought to fill the gap for an "Online world free from bullying, racism and intolerance" through their #Togetherforrespect youth participation scenario.

To learn more about experiences of the youth panellists participating in the BIK Youth Programme and YEP, see their video testimonials or read the reflections from Lili from Austria, Noah from Luxembourg and Sophie from the UK in blog posts on the BIK portal.

Throughout this edition of the BIK bulletin, we've also given you a flavour of a whole range of youth participation actions taking place across Europe, through the day-to-day actions of Safer Internet Centres. We hope you enjoy the read, and will support the youth panellist's work to demonstrate that we all stand #TogetherForRespect.

The last 2017 edition of the BIK Bulletin also contained:

And many other exciting pieces of news! You can find the full December 2017 edition of the BIK bulletin here


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My journey to the 2017 European Youth Panel and Safer Internet Forum

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Henkka, Youth Panellist from the Finnish Safer Internet Centre, shared the journey from Finland to Belgium where the European Youth Panel and Safer Internet Forum took place on 22 – 23 November 2017. 

SIF 2017 is here!

Safer Internet Forum (SIF) 2017 takes place today, Thursday, 23 November 2017 in Brussels, Belgium. With a theme of "From children's tech to resilient youth – how to foster wellbeing online?", the SIF agenda includes sessions on children and robotic toys, building resilience with vulnerable groups, whether we should verify age online, and the scale of the challenge being faced in tackling child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online.

Check out the agenda and Forum brochure now.

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