The 2010 edition of the Safer Internet Forum took place in Luxembourg on the 21-22 October 2010.
This year the Safer Internet Forum focued on the results of two major research projects funded by the Safer Internet Programme: EUKidsOnline II, which surveyed children and parents in 25 European countries about internet use, and European Online Grooming Project, the first European research project that studies the characteristics and behaviour of sexual offenders who have used the internet to groom young people.
The results of research were put in context in by 3 parallel sessions.
The Safer Internet Forum was preceded by the second meeting of the Pan-European Youth Panel including young people from all the Member States, Norway, Iceland and Russia, as well as a European Panel of Parents. These two panels will take place on 20 October as closed meetings. The discussions in the panels will be fed into discussions at the Safer Internet Forum.
4th International Conference. Keeping Children and Young People Safe Online. Warsaw, 28 - 29 September 2010
Polish (Nobody’s Children Foundation and NASK) and German (klicksafe.de) Safer Internet Centers held the 4th International Conference “Keeping Children and Young People Safe Online” September 28 – 29, 2010.
The conference brought together approximately 500 representatives from the education sector, NGOs, law enforcement, government and industry. It addressed a wide variety of issues relating to children and young people’s safety online, such as the use of social networking sites and mobile phones, privacy, sexting, online gaming, educational strategies, etc. The aims of the conference were to raise awareness of the new challenges and opportunities in fighting online threats and to help share best practices across different sectors. Sessions were led by recognised international experts in the field of child protection.
The following topics, among others, will be discussed at the event:
- Understanding potential risks on SN Sites
- Safer Social Networking Principles
- Sexualisation, technology and risks
- Mobile phones - privacy and safety concerns for children and young people
- Online games vs addictions
- Awareness-raising campaigns
- Virtual worlds
- Grooming legislation
Stephen Webster NatCen (UK) , Professor Julia Davidson (UK), Professor Antonia Bifulco(UK), Professor Petter Gottschalk(Norway) , Professor Vincenzo Caretti (Italy), Professor Thierry Pham(Belgium).
About this study
The sexual abuse of young people who meet their abusers online is an international problem. Our researchers are currently studying the different ways in which sexual offenders approach, communicate with and ‘groom’ young people online.
Findings from the study, which reports in December 2011, will be used to improve risk management strategies adopted by policy makers and law enforcement agencies across Europe. It will also be used to raise awareness among teachers, parents and young people.
A recent report from the Centre for Missing and Exploited Children underlines the scale of the problem, reporting 2,660 incidents of adults using the internet to befriend a child in order to entice them into meeting.
As more young people use the internet for social networking with friends, so the potential for contact with sexual offenders increases.
The European Online Grooming Project is co-funded by the European Union, through the Safer Internet plus programme.
Potential policy impact
Findings from the research will be disseminated via a series of workshops run across Europe and attended by policy makers, practitioners, teachers, parents and young people.
The study will make a significant contribution to the development of educational awareness and prevention initiatives.
Our research involves three phases:
· Phase 1 is a scoping study of convicted online groomers' case files, a pan European literature review and interviews with strategic stakeholders.
· Phase 2 consists of interviews with convicted online groomers in the UK, Italy, Belgium and Norway.
· Phase 3 includes workshops with policy makers, teachers, parents and young people to disseminate the findings and draw out risk and safety lessons.
EU Kids Online II
Enhancing Knowledge Regarding European Children's Use, Risk and Safety Online.
This project will design and conduct a comparable quantitative survey of chhildren's use of online technologies across member states focusing on online risks and safety.
It will also map parents' experiences, practices and conerns regarding their children's online risk and safety.
First findings will be available in autumn 2010.
For more information please visit the project website