Message from the European Schoolnet and the International Association of Internet Hotlines, 9 February 2016.

Today more than 100 countries worldwide, including all 28 countries of the European Union, are celebrating Safer Internet Day (SID) for the thirteenth year running. Initiated under the European Commission’s Safer Internet Programme and now continuing under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) which funds Safer Internet Centres in the member states, the day marks an annual opportunity to engage in making the internet a safer and better place for our children and young people.

Coordinated by European Schoolnet and INHOPE (the International Association of Internet Hotlines), in close partnership with the Insafe network of Safer Internet Centres in Europe, Safer Internet Day has grown tremendously over the years. The theme of Safer Internet Day 2016 is ‘Play your part for a better internet!’. Whether we are children and young people, parents and carers, educators or social care workers, or indeed industry, decision makers or politicians, we all have a role to play. In championing a better internet, the theme aims to encourage people to play their part in making the most of the positive opportunities offered online, while giving them the resilience, skills, knowledge and support they need to navigate any online risks they may come across.

Each year, thousands of exciting events and activities take place to mark the day and raise awareness of the issues across and beyond Europe. Additionally, the Insafe network of Safer Internet Centres produces a range of resources for schools and educators to help them raise awareness of safe and responsible use of the internet and other online services. Find out what is happening in your country - and download resources - from the Safer Internet Day website: www.saferinternetday.org.

Last year’s celebrations saw more than 19,000 schools and 28 million people involved in SID actions across Europe, while over 60 million people were reached worldwide on Twitter online with the SID hashtag, which trended globally several times on SID itself. We expect the SID 2016 celebrations to be even bigger, and we are already seeing support building with tweets from the likes of Günther H. Oettinger, Digital Economy & Society Commissioner and Roberto Viola, Director General of DG Connect at the European Commission.

Speaking of the campaign, Marc Durando, Executive Director of European Schoolnet said: "We are delighted to organise this landmark online safety campaign with the support of the European Commission. The messaging around a safer and better internet complements the work we are doing with schools across Europe – and beyond – on empowering children and young people with the knowledge and skills they need to actively participate in today's digital society.”

Hans Martens, Digital Citizenship Programme Manager at European Schoolnet and Coordinator of the Insafe Network said “The theme of ‘Play your part for a better internet’ truly reflects how stakeholders from across the world can and should work together to build a trusted digital environment for all. This approach is at the core of the Better Internet for Kids agenda, and we look forward to seeing many exciting initiatives and collaborations, both on the day of SID itself and beyond."

Follow Safer Internet Day events on Twitter using #SID2016, #Iplaymypart and #playyourpart.

See the article