Celebrating Safer Internet Day in Romania

  • Awareness
  • 01/03/2018
  • Romanian Safer Internet Centre

Safer Internet Day (SID) was celebrated on Tuesday, 6 February 2018 right across the globe. With a theme of "Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you", the day called upon all stakeholders to join together to make the internet a safer and better place for all, and especially for children and young people. Find out how the Romanian Safer Internet Centre (SIC) marked the day.

Save the Children Romania, the national coordinator of the Safer Internet Centre, celebrated Safer Internet Day 2018 by organising a public event named: "Challenges in using the internet by children: Images of child sexual abuse and unprotected personal data". The event took place on 6 February 2018 in Bucharest and brought together representatives of institutions that aim to protect children both on the internet and offline.

Organised as a press conference, the event addressed the topics of child sexual abuse images and personal data in the context of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which binds children's access to websites to their parents' consent. It was attended by representatives of the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police, the Ministry of Communications and Information Society, the National Authority for the Protection of Child's Rights and Adoption, the Embassy of Great Britain in Romania, the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Grigorescu Ştefănică Law Office and the National Center for Response to Cyber Security Incidents. Representatives of the authorities provided procedural details and statistics on how to work and intervene in cases of child sexual abuse, and specialised lawyers gave a presentation on the legal implications that the new European Personal Data Regulation will have on children from May 2018. The legislation will allow access for children under the age of 16 to websites only after obtaining parental consent.

During the conference, the 2017 results of the Safer Internet programme in Romania were also presented. During the previous year, educational activities consisted of child consultation and information sessions, school competitions and community actions, and involved 70,400 children. Actions were supported by 2,700 volunteers, teachers and specialists, in over 1,500 educational units in 700 cities. At ctrl_AJUTOR, the project's counseling line, operators provided guidance and advice to 1,067 callers.

The overall attendance and impact of the event was great. Many media channels covered the subject also with 6 national televised reports, 1 local radio report, 17 online articles and 1 television show broadcast nationally.
Besides the press conference, the Romanian Safer Internet Centre also launched an educational initiative dedicated to celebrating Safer Internet Day. The national competition "Digital citizenship. Rights and responsibilities online regarding personal data" is addressed to children and young people under the coordination of an adult, teacher or leader of an initiative group. The contest will take place between 12 February and 30 March 2018, and participants can be classes of students coordinated by teachers from primary and secondary education. There are three categories: Category I is composed of pupils of classes 0 to IV, Category II grades V – VIII, and Category III grades IX – XII, while initiative groups from child and youth organisations can enter in the Special Category.

In short, the steps to participate in the contest are:

  • Organise a debate within the classroom where children are invited to discuss issues related to personal data, how to interact online from the perspective of children's rights, and the commercial implications of online users.
  • Organise a public action/event involving adults (teachers, parents, local authorities, and so on) that aims to bring together more than 50 local representatives to promote rights and responsibilities on the internet for personal data, thus facilitating an increased awareness regarding best ways of preventing and combating abuse in the online environment.
  • Create a video clip of up to three minutes to capture the most important conclusions of discussions and recommendations of how children and young people propose to respect personal data rights in the online environment.

Based on the experience of previous years, and the collaboration which Save the Children has with schools all over Romania, we expect a high number of participants. This will subsequently have an important impact through the activities that will be organised in local communities all over the country.

See the Romanian Safer Internet Day profile page for further information.

Find out more about the work of the Romanian Safer Internet Centre (SIC), including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services.

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