About

How does Better Internet for Kids work for youth?

Under the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) umbrella, many smaller projects, campaigns and initiatives were created, all believing in a better internet for children and young people. Aiming to give youth a one-stop-shop to share their views on how to build a better internet, the BIK Youth minisite was launched! 
 
The main objective? To raise awareness about the importance of involving youth participants in safer/better internet discussions. This BIK Youth minisite 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. 
 
How did we get here? Each year, a European Youth Panel (YEP) is organised prior and during the Safer Internet Forum (SIF), encouraging a group of youth panellists and ambassadors to voice not just their personal opinions and challenges, but also those of their peers whom they are representing at a European level. Youth panellists work together to come up with principles and scenarios for a better internet, first debating issues in online meetings and brainstorming over youth participation scenarios as preparation for meeting face to face.
 

Who plays what part in Youth participation scenarios?

A co-creation process with young people is behind this project, where ultimately young people develop youth participation scenarios for online safety guidance, learning, campaigning and/or decision making. Following the launch of this minisite in November 2017, BIK Youth panellists and ambassadors continue to be actively involved in creating a number of youth participation scenarios and implementation models. Check them out in the Participation section of this website! 
 
Who are they addressing? Youth! The outcomes of this work will also provide a structured overview of how BIK Youth panellists – together with other stakeholders – co-create and implement youth-focussed scenarios to cover the key principles essential to creating a better internet.
 

Youth and BIK stakeholders

BIK Youth panellists and ambassadors aim to voice their opinions to a range of Better Internet for Kids stakeholders while reflecting on, and providing specific guidance for, public sector and industry commitments.  
 
Examples? The Alliance to better protect minors online is a self-regulatory initiative aiming to improve the online environment for children and young people. The Alliance launched its Statement of Purpose during Safer Internet Day 2017, which introduced nine actions under three main strands: User-empowerment, Enhance collaboration, and Awareness raising.
 
All companies taking part in the Alliance have also submitted individual commitments according to their business activity. BIK Youth panellists had the chance to interact with the Alliance during both Safer Internet Day 2017 and Safer Internet Forum 2017, bringing their input and addressing real challenges on online safety.
 

Meet the Ambassadors

 

Below you can find out more about this year's Youth Panellists. To meet all our previous and current Youth Ambassadors, visit the Ambassadors page.

 

Simona (Bulgaria)


Hi everyone! My name is Simona, I'm 17 years old and I come from Bulgaria. Since one year ago I participate in Youth Panel in Bulgaria which is connected with the Safer Internet Center. In 2018 I had the incredible chance to be a youth representative from Bulgaria to the Safer Internet Forum. It was pleasure for me to show that young people's opinion really matters and that we care about the future of the digital environment. The way we protect ourselves in the real world should be also the way we protect in the internet! I believe that more and more young people will follow our example and will try their best to make the internet a better place to spend our time!
     

 

Antonis (Cyprus)

My name is Antonis and I am a 17-year-old student from Cyprus. Internet safety has always been one of my main interests. In the past, I have participated in the EduWeb project, which was an European project aiming at helping digitally illiterate people learn how to use the internet safely. I also participated in the Safer Internet Day events in Cyprus for the last 2 years.

 

 

 

Dalia (Estonia)

My name is Dalia and I'm a 16-year-old student from Estonia. I'm very passionate about child rights, participation and the overall goal of creating a better space for children to grow up in. I have been part of the Estonian Union for Child Welfare youth council for the past 4 years and the Safer Internet project for 6 years. I have also been part of the Eurochild's Children's Council for over a year now. This has given me an opportunity to take part in many conferences and projects aiming to improve children's rights on the internet and in real life. I look forward to sharing my experience and new knowledge with my friends in the youth council and the ECC.

 

 

Frida (Finland)

I'm Frida, a 15 year old junior high school student from Finland. I work as a support student at school, I belong to the Youth Council of our town and I work as a volunteer at Mannerheim's Child Welfare Association. I am very interested in the online safety of youth and kids, and the wider public. I was very happy to have this opportunity to go to Brussels and be part of the BIK Youth Panel 2018. Altthough I work with young people, this was my first time to take part this this kind of event as representative of Mannerheim's Welfare Association. I'm so glad and proud to do this and with this passion of mine to work this way won't be let down.

 

Lea (Germany)

My name is Lea and I'm from Germany. I've been a part of the "Medienscouts-Club" at my school for 4 years, because I've always liked to know how the internet is developing. Apart from that, I'm really into music.

 

 

 

 

Christina (Greece)

My name is Christina and I'm a 16-year-old student from Greece. I became part of Greece's Safer Internet Youth Panel three years ago, when I realised by my own experience that safety in the digital world is just as important as it is in reality. We, as the new generation, should constantly try to improve the quality of the internet by not only expressing our opinion but also by attending events like the Safer Internet Forum, held in Brussels on November 2018. I had the opportunity to participate in this amazing event and meet even more amazing people. I had no idea that it would be so easy to get along with so many children from all around Europe. The 18 of us made a great team and achieved the impossible. In a very short period of time we came up with the idea of our hashtag (#MyDigitalSelfandI) and developed it, as we created a video related to this. Our deep dive session also included a number of 10-minutes discussions on a variety of topics such as Article 13, GDPR, fake news, influencers, and so on. Everything went better than planned and there is nothing I would change about this unforgettable experience. Throughout this trip, not only I acquired knowledge, but I also made some incredible friends that I'll meet again in the near future.

 

Marina (Greece)

My name is Marina and I am a 15-year-old student from Greece! I joined the Greek Safer Internet Youth Panel 2 years ago and internet safety has been one of my main interests ever since. I am particularly fond of children's rights on the internet, as well as young people's safety in it. Having the opportunity to actually be a part of the BIK Youth Panel 2018 was a huge thing for me, since it provided me with the chance to have a voice and an impact on the world. I cannot even begin to describe to what extent this event has influenced me.

 

 

Lorcan (Ireland)

I'm Lorcan and I'm a 17-year-old student from Ireland. I first became interested in online safety through my own experiences online and I signed up to become a Safer Internet Day (SID) Ambassador with the Irish Safer Internet Centre. I organised online safety events in my school for Safer Internet Day and I became a member of the Irish Youth Panel. Through this role, I have taken part in open policy debates and panel discussions focusing on the challenges and benefits of technology. These include an Open Policy Debate organised by the Irish Government in March this year which lead to the first Online Safety Strategy, and the EMEA Child Safety Summit hosted by Google and Facebook in April of this year. I'm also a member of Tipperary Comhairle na nÓg, where we actively promote positive use of technology and being aware of online safety.

 

Sina (Luxembourg)

Hello world!  I'm Sina from Luxembourg. I am 15 years old and a student of the Lycée de Garçons de Luxembourg. I also panel review for BEE SECURE, focusing on technology and safety for kids. The Safer Internet Forum was my first conference, so at the beginning I was very nervous, but it turned out to be one of the best experiences that I have ever had. I really enjoyed working with all the other youth panellists, getting to know so many people from across the European Union, brainstorming on current topics (such as internet creators, data protection, Article 13, … ),  and organising our deep dive session. I am really proud of our work, #MyDigitalSelfandI.  ps. The food was delicious!

 

 

Catarina (Portugal)

I'm Catarina, a 16 years old girl from Portugal. As the cyber world plays a big part of my life, I'm interested in all the things related to it. Because of this, I have been involved in the "Digital Leaders" initiative of the Portuguese Safer Internet Centre, since 2015. Throughout the years, I've had the opportunity to work with children, peers, parents, teachers, and others in regional events, by sharing experiences and thoughts about this important topic. This year, I participated in some activities at a national level, by being the "youth's voice which adults also need to hear", such as the panel on "Ethics… odd word applied to cyber. Why and where should we fit it", in the C-Days Conference and in the "1st conference – INCoDe.2030". More recently, I took part in BIK Youth Panel, Safer Internet Forum and BIK Advisory Board in Brussels. All these events were an excellent opportunity to get to know different people, different realities and different experiences, which I want to share with others. My final goal is to make a contribution to improve children and youngster's rights and knowledge in the internet and new technologies!