The new technologies of information and communication have emerged at a very fast pace over the last years, being the first domain, in recent years, where children and teenagers gathered more abilities and skills than adults did. The youths are able nowadays to teach and train their parents and teachers on the use of Internet and new technologies, having a knowledge in this area generally superior to the one adults gained. Therefore, the participants at the Summer School are strongly supporting, through their expertise and know-how, the possibility that children and youths have to improve and establish appropriate policies for protecting and promoting a responsible use of Internet and new technologies by children, families and in educative activities.
Save the Children Romania, as the National Coordinator of Safer Internet Program organized in July 2011 the second edition of the European Summer School for Youth Panels. The Summer School was organized in the framework of the Multi-annual Safer Internet Program, established by the European Commission in 1999, currently in progress in 27 European states and had the entire support of the Insafe Network, the European Commission, Microsoft and Kaspersky Lab. The youngsters participated in trainings, workshops and seminars on relevant topics, such as privacy, addiction and security, which helped them gather relevant information for the projects they have worked on and presented during the last day. In a special workshop dedicated to child participation in decision making, the Youth Panel representatives drew up various ideas regarding the improvement of the Safer Internet Program, ideas that are summed up in this resolution.
For this end, 38 children and youths, representatives of the National Youth Panels, from ten European countries: Romania, United Kingdom, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Estonia, Ireland, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary and Portugal, debated during the Summer School, the real issues concerning the use of Internet amongst children and set strategies to improve and develop the Safer Internet activities which involve children, parents and teachers, based on their expertise gained in national and international events, focused on online safety, in the framework of the program.
Save the Children Romania acknowledges the importance of consulting and empowering children throughout the decision making process on programs that involve protection of the rights of the child, as it is underlined in the art 2 of the Lisbon EU Treaty. Taking into account the feedback received by the Youth Panel representatives during the informative sessions, the young participants at the Summer School demand the support of the authorities responsible for amending relevant legislation and a social and educational change on the following issues:
- Introducing online safety notions through informative sessions or games in kindergarten
- Identifying and attracting national ambassadors, popular among teenagers and having meetings and conferences with them in order to promote the message of the programme among all European countries
- Creating a guide for teachers containing useful links, tips and advices for sustaining an interactive digital lesson;
- Organizing multimedia quizzes, contests and fun games for teenagers on Internet topics;
- Summer schools, consultative meetings and experience exchanges between young representatives of the national Safer Internet program, organized by the relevant European institutions, with the aim of training them for a thorough dissemination with updated and specialized information among the target groups ;
- Introduce concepts of online safety to children coming from disadvantaged groups: orphanages, educational centers, rehabilitation centers, etc. who have access to computers connected to the Internet;
Therefore, we would like to bring to your attention the ideas underlined by the participants, and express Save the Children Romania’s availability to continuously help the children and youngsters in putting their views forward to concerned bodies.
Children and teenagers participants at the Safer Internet Summer School:
Bulgaria: Iveta Smolyanova , Tsvetomir Avramov
Cyprus: Aphrodite Evangelou, Sokratous Olina
Germay: Dorian Grun
United Kingdom: Jacob Brown
Ireland: Niamh Carey
Estonia: Tauno Mihklepp
Slovakia: Ondrej Bilcik
Portugal: Daniel Gomes Neto, Joel Francisco Gomes Duarte, Mathieu Nunes Rodrigues
Hungary: Lilla Zsuk, Szabrina Tasnádi
Romania: Teodora Nicolae, Mădălina Iuraşcu, Bianca Pătulea, Botezatu Mihai, Ştefan Jichim, Livia Nicolae, Cociuba Paula Isabela, Stafie Vlad, Oneţ Cristina, Alexandra Ursu, Roxana Eremia, Iuliana Drăniceanu, Gîrbă Nicoleta-Valentina, Ignat Claudia, Szabo Sabrina, Ionescu Ştefania, Sima Alexandra, Atomei Laura-Elena, Ioniţă Simona, Vela Teodora Cristina, Elena Păduraru, Diana Bragă, Ioana Nistor, Indra Gheorghe
Save the Children Romania – The National Coordinator of Safer Internet Program in Romania George Roman (National Coordinator), Ovidiu Măjină (Sigur.info Coordinator), Irina Nicolai (Awareness Coordinator), Georgiana Roşculeţ (Informative Coordinator), Teodora Stoica (Helpline Coordinator) and Andreea Pufu (Coordinator Assistant)
Insafe: Janice Richardson (Insafe Coordinator)
Kaspersky Lab Romania: Ştefan Tănase (Senior Security Researcher), Adrian Porcescu, Carmen Rusu , Ionuţ Tecuceanu (PR Junior Consultant)
Microsoft Romania: Sanda Foamete (Education Program Manager)