About

How does Better Internet for Kids work for youth?

Under the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) umbrella, many smaller projects, campaigns and initiatives were created, all believing in a better internet for children and young people. Aiming to give youth a one-stop-shop to share their views on how to build a better internet, the BIK Youth minisite was launched! 
 
The main objective? To raise awareness about the importance of involving youth participants in safer/better internet discussions. This BIK Youth minisite provides a space to present ideas, views and experiences from youth, while also reporting on national, European and international youth participation models, practices and success stories. 
 
How did we get here? Each year, a BIK Youth Panel is organised prior and during the Safer Internet Forum (SIF), encouraging a group of youth panellists and ambassadors to voice not just their personal opinions and challenges, but also those of their peers whom they are representing at a European level. Youth panellists work together to come up with principles and activities for a better internet, first debating issues in online meetings and brainstorming over youth participation activities as preparation for meeting face to face.
 

Who plays what part in Youth participation activities?

A co-creation process with young people is behind this project, where ultimately young people develop youth participation activities for online safety guidance, learning, campaigning and/or decision making. Following the launch of this minisite in November 2017, BIK Youth Panellists and Ambassadors continue to be actively involved in creating a number of youth participation activities and implementation models. Check them out in the Participation section of this website! 
 
Who are they addressing? Youth! The outcomes of this work will also provide a structured overview of how BIK Youth Panellists – together with other stakeholders – co-create and implement youth-focussed activities to cover the key principles essential to creating a better internet.
 

Youth and BIK stakeholders

BIK Youth Panellists and Ambassadors aim to voice their opinions to a range of Better Internet for Kids stakeholders while reflecting on, and providing specific guidance for, public sector and industry commitments.  
 
Examples? The Alliance to better protect minors online is a self-regulatory initiative aiming to improve the online environment for children and young people. The Alliance launched its Statement of Purpose during Safer Internet Day 2017, which introduced nine actions under three main strands: User-empowerment, Enhance collaboration, and Awareness raising.
 
All companies taking part in the Alliance have also submitted individual commitments according to their business activity. BIK Youth Panellists had the chance to interact with the Alliance during both Safer Internet Day 2017 and Safer Internet Forum 2017, bringing their input and addressing real challenges on online safety.
 

Meet the Ambassadors

Below you can find out more about the 2020 BIK Youth Ambassadors. To meet all our previous Youth Ambassadors, visit the Ambassadors page.

 

Billie (Ireland)

My name is Billie, I’m 17 years old and I live in Ireland. I’ve been involved in internet safety for the last four years now and I don’t regret a single second of it. I think my interest in it arose through seeing social media grow so much in my lifetime. I know now we all have a role to play in making sure that the virtual community is a safe one.

 

 

Alisya (Italy)

Hi! I'm Alisya, I'm 17 years old and I’m from Italy. I’m in the fourth class of high school and my interests are politics and volunteer work. I have been interested in topics such as web security for three years now, and I took part in the BIK Youth Panel and Safer Internet Forum (SIF) 2020. The experience was fantastic; it helped me to broaden my knowledge on the importance of mental health and on the conscious and safe use of the internet. But the best part is how we young people all worked together to share our message on the importance of web security.

 

Edgaras (Lithuania)

Hello, I'm Edgar and I'm 19 years old. I live in the capital city of Vilnius, Lithuania. This autumn, I'll be starting my studies at ISM University of Management and Economics. In addition to my hobbies of mathematics and data analysis, I’m also interested in subjects such as politics, history and geography. When BIK (Better Internet for Kids) contacted me about the possibility of representing the youth of Europe in the 2020 BIK Youth Panel, it was a no-brainer. It combined my interests and ambitions of improving the well-being of Europeans and young people as a whole. Putting the conference aside, the most fascinating thing about this project was the crowd involved in making the project a reality, especially under the difficult conditions posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Samara (Malta)

Hello! My name is Samara, I'm 15 and I'm from Malta. I'm currently in year 11/form 5 at secondary school, studying sciences. My interests are theatrical drama and music. I took part in the BIK Youth Panel 2020 and really enjoyed the experience. During the BIK youth sessions I got the chance to voice my own opinions about current situations relating to both media and mental health. To me, personally, mental health is something which I see many people around me struggle with, including myself. Not only should there be more awareness on the topic, but governments and schools should also spread light on this topic seeing that, unfortunately, so many people struggle with mental health at some point in their lives.

 

Yevgeny (Malta)

I’m Yevgeny from Malta. I’m 15 years old and I am currently in the last year of secondary school. I got involved in children’s rights issues when I decided to take part in a workshop during the summer of 2020, hosted by the Commissioner of Children in Malta, which tackled children’s rights in decision making. Following that, I was nominated to take part in the Safer Internet Forum (SIF) which was aimed at creating a safer and better internet for children and young people (as part of the BIK (Better Internet for Kids) project). As part of this, my working group produced a video which was used at SIF. I got involved since I believe that although the internet is a place where there is a lot of potential, children make up a big percentage of internet users and their rights have to be respected and their knowledge must be broadened on the threats that the internet can pose. I am also a member of the BIK Youth Advisory Group which has the task of creating a new protocol on the priorities the European Union must take to promote, respect, protect and fulfil children’s rights in the digital world. In Malta, I have been appointed a member of the Council of Children by the Commissioner for Children. My other interests are history and I also enjoy reading books about history and visiting museums. My other passion is the French language, and I would like to continue my studies in French.

 

Adrián (Spain)

Hello, my name is Adrián. I'm 16 years old and I'm from Spain. Playing the guitar, reading and playing videogames are some of my hobbies. I am also interested in other subjects such as politics, history and art, but I am particularly concerned with the participation and rights of children and teenagers. Last year (2020), I had the opportunity to participate in the Safer Internet Forum (SIF) for the first time. It was a great experience. This project makes it possible for the voices of youth to be heard in Europe, which I'm sure will change things for the better.

 

Ana (Spain)

Hi, I’m Ana, from Spain. I’m 18 years old and I’ve just started college. Since 2019, I’ve been part of the Spanish Youth Panel thanks to Cibercorresponsales. Last year, I was able to take part in Safer Internet Forum (SIF) and it was a great chance to learn and share our ideas about the internet. Technology and security are things that have always been present in my day-to-day life, so being aware and being able to participate in the future improvement of cybersecurity and having the opportunity to share experiences and opinions on this important topic as part of the BIK Youth Panel makes me so proud.