One in seven children in our country reports that they have been a victim of online bullying and stalking in social networks
“A number of key ministries, agencies, the non-governmental sector, the private sector, representatives of the IT industry and the media have made their commitments. This clearly shows that society understands the problems and is looking for a comprehensive systemic approach. What is needed is better connectivity of individual programs, a systematized long-term model that can attract adequate funding, integrated policies at the national and local level, effective law enforcement and increasing digital skills and the quality of digital services,” he said . the chairman of the National Assembly and patron of the conference Mr. Rosen Zhelyazkov.
A number of examples of successful policies, initiatives and projects aimed at making the web safer and improving children’s digital skills were also presented during the forum. As ongoing challenges and recommendations, the need to popularize and expand the scope of existing programs and services to support not only children, but also their parents and professionals working with them was outlined. For example, there is still a lack of a sustainable mechanism for financing the activities of the Center for a Safer Internet, which makes it difficult to sustain its work.
Children and young people from the Children’s Council of the SAPD, the Youth Network “Megafon” of the NMD and the Youth Panel of the Safe Internet Center also took part in the discussions by presenting a survey conducted among 173 young people. whose purpose is to acquaint adults with the attitudes and problems that youth and children encounter on the Internet. Denis from the Megaphone Youth Program closed the youth session with two questions about the steps that should be taken to make the youth voice heard in the event of online bullying and how children can become online safety advocates. The questions served to open the panel discussion and engage the audience. Young people also shared that for them the topics of violence, aggression, including cyberbullying, befriending children for the purpose of abuse and sexual extortion, are important and current topics. According to the youth, they should be talked about more, including the need for information on where to seek help if a child becomes a victim of violence or sexual exploitation and abuse online.
To seek support and/or report a crime, you can contact:
116 111 – National telephone line for children
124 123 – Advisory line for online safety and Safe Internet Center at www.safenet.bg
Directorate of “Cybercrime” at GDBOP at [email protected] or at 0885 525 545.
Header photo: Lilia Yotova, UNICEF Bulgaria