February 11 – Safe Internet Day
February 11 – Safe Internet Day
Safe Internet Day is an event promoted by the INSAFE/INHOPE* network with the support of the European Commission. It is celebrated every February with the aim of promoting the safe and positive use of digital technologies, especially among children and adolescents.
The Inter-American Children´s Institute (IIN-OAS) considers important to celebrate and reflect on this date, from the perspective of promoting and protecting the rights of, who need an active role from the different guarantors of rights, since what happens to them in the virtual sphere has repercussions in the offline sphere and vice versa.
The IIN-OAS considers important to celebrate and reflect on Safe Internet Day, from the perspective of promoting and protecting children and adolescents rights, it is needed an active role from the different guarantors of rights, because what happens to them in the virtual sphere has repercussions in the offline sphere and vice versa.
Recently, the Committee on the Rights of the Child approved General Comment No. 25, which includes a comprehensive interpretation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, contextualizing the use of digital environments, positioning the concept of progressive autonomy in the Internet sphere, problematizing issues such as: age, the degree of development of the subject, their critical thinking training and their level of digital literacy.
This new Comment raises responses on how and when technologies should be used in relation to: literacy or training and digital citizenship of children and adolescents, concepts that must be promoted, since these competences do not develop by themselves, they require different actions and guarantees, as well as a sociocultural context in which they are educated, practiced and developed in and from different areas, such as: school, family and community.
The IIN-OAS works in an interinstitutional, intergenerational and interdisciplinary manner, and implemented the “Program for the Promotion and Protection of Rights in the Virtual Environment”, which has been developing the following activities:
- Training courses and modules in our different academic offers (for technicians, civil servants or children and adolescents)
- Discussions on Public Policies (CPP) for the safe use of the Internet for children and adolescents.
- Coordination of the Organized Thematic Group of children and adolescents regarding the safe use of digital environments (GOT USI in spanish) and,
- The installation of Intergenerational Networks of Multiplying Agents for Safe Internet Use (RIAMUSI in spanish).
To conclude, it is important to highlight the need to:
- Have an approach to the rights of children and adolescents that mainstreams the approach to the digital environment.
- Encourage interinstitutional, intergenerational and interdisciplinary work on these issues.
- Raise awareness about the importance of the role of the adult as a companion and the veracity of the information so that it becomes knowledge (facilitating the generation of opinion and decision-making).
- Encourage prevention and self-care behaviors, along with the development of critical thinking.
The “new reality” not only imposes on us a new form of interaction in the real world, it also imposes on us a new way of interacting in the virtual world and we must know much more about it.
*Insafe (Better Internet for Kids)/INHOPE (International Association of Internet Hotlines)