About BIK Youth participation activities
Youth participation activities have always been at the heart of the BIK Youth programme. Lately, marking the European Year of Youth, the #DigitalDecade4YOUth! consultation and the launch of the new BIK+ strategy, youth participation and involvement has taken a more prominent role.
Using co-creation methods, young people work with other stakeholders to develop online safety guidance, learning and campaigning materials, and contribute to decision-making processes to help create a better internet.
Over time, we have been building and publishing a collection of youth participation activities on the BIK Youth site allowing you to both see the outputs of the youth panellists' work, and adapt the methodologies followed for use in your own youth participation settings.
Developing youth participation activities
- Young people want support and education about the internet – for everyone.
- They want to be able to protect their data and privacy online. They want terms and conditions that are simple to understand.
- They want access to good quality and reliable content online.
- They want an online world free from bullying, racism and intolerance, while being able to express themselves freely online.
- They want young people to be able to participate in the internet and have an equal say in how it is shaped and what services it provides.
Reflecting on the new Better Internet for Kids (BIK+) strategy
On May 2022, the Commission adopted a new European strategy for a Better Internet for Kids (BIK+), to improve age-appropriate digital services and to ensure that every child is protected, empowered and respected online. A child-friendly version of the BIK+ strategy was developed, starting from the key principles (or pillars) of the strategy and adapting the language and visual style to target a younger audience.
A number of BIK Youth Ambassadors from all over Europe were consulted during the process and provided invaluable feedback and assistance on the tone, style, and content of the child-friendly version.
The accessible, child-friendly version of the new BIK+ strategy is now available in English, and will soon be available in all EU languages plus Icelandic, Norwegian and Ukrainian. Read the accessible, child-friendly version below, or download the PDF here.BIK Youth Ambassadors had the opportunity to interview and discuss the new BIK+ strategy. Watch the video interviews with Dubravka Šuica, European Commission Vice-President for Democracy and Demography and Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market.
Participation in the Digital Assembly
On 21-22 June 2022, the Digital Assembly took place in Toulouse, France. The two-day conference included a workshop on the newly adopted European strategy for a Better Internet for Kids (BIK+).
The workshop provided the opportunity for BIK Youth Ambassadors Dimitris and Sina to voice the thoughts and opinions of children and young people, stressing the importance of involving youth in the decision-making process and encouraging their participation in such initiatives for change.
Read more about the participation of BIK Youth Ambassadors in the workshop at the 2022 Digital Assembly.
Shaping Safer Internet Forum - SIF Youth Advisory Group 2022
Safer Internet Forum (SIF) is a key annual event where policy makers, researchers, law enforcement bodies, youth, parents and carers, teachers, NGOs, industry representatives, experts and other relevant actors come together to discuss the latest trends, risks and solutions related to child online safety and making the internet a better place.
This year the event was organised in a youth-led manner, with young people playing an active role in the planning, preparation and delivery of the Forum.
In preparation for the 2022 edition of Safer Internet Forum (SIF), a group of ten young people from various European countries were invited to participate in preparatory meetings aimed at sharing their respective views on three main pillars of the new BIK+ strategy and further contribute to the development of Forum’s agenda.
More specifically, young people are focusing on the following topics:
- Safe digital experiences to protect children from harmful and illegal content, conduct, contact and consumer risks and to improve their well-being online through a safe, age-appropriate digital environment, created in a way that respects children’s best interests.
- Digital empowerment so children acquire the necessary skills and competences to make sound choices and express themselves in the online environment safely and responsibly.
- Active participation, respecting children by giving them a say in the digital environment, with more child-led activities to foster innovative and creative safe digital experiences.
Meet the members of the SIF Youth Advisory Group
Hi! I'm Anisa and I am 18 years old. I have been involved with online safety for over five years both nationally and internationally, ultimately wanting to use my voice to aid and encourage change. Becoming a hugely digitised generation it is important that as youths we are not only heard but also encouraged, whilst maintaining safety online. Exciting yet challenging, it is an opportunity to put change in action for the generations to come.
Hi, I'm Aveli! Since 2020 I have been closely working with The Estonian Union For Child Welfare, where I was, at first, part of the Youth Council and am now an Ambassador of Child Rights. In 2021 I was offered a place as a BIK Youth panellist which I, of course, accepted. This has led me here, to the SIF Youth Advisory Group. My mission is to make children's voices heard and remind people that not only should we do things for children and not only are children our future but that we should also do things with children as they are also our present.
My name is Billie and I am 18. I’ve been actively involved in internet safety for the last 4 years both within my own country and within Europe. I’ve been working as s BIK Youth Ambassador and now as an advisory panellist since 2020. I feel beyond lucky to be involved in such a community all working toward the same thing because at the end of the day internet safety is an issue that faces everyone today.
My name is Dimitris and I’m 16 years old. Starting in 2017, I began to get involved in activities regarding internet safety through my school’s participation in programs of the Cypriot Safer Internet Centre. The following school year (2018-2019), I was invited to participate in the Cyprus Cyber Safety Youth Panel, of which I've been a member and have been involved in many activities since then. Finally, I was a participant in the BIK Youth Panel and Safer Internet Forum 2021, representing my country, and I’m currently a BIK Youth Ambassador.
Hey, I'm George and a 15-year-old. I'm studying Business Studies and Computer Science in my last year of Secondary Education. I've been interested in speaking up about issues that interest me since I was young. Last year SIF gave me a unique opportunity where I collaborated with people from all around Europe, and made friendships I never would've had otherwise. I believe in LGBTIQA+ rights, Women's Rights, Minority Rights and Freedom to be yourself in general, as long as you aren't harming anyone else.
Since 2015 I have been involved in online safety issues. I started attending the Safer Internet Forum back then as a youth representative for Austria and participated in discussions at local and international events. Since then, I got even more involved and became one of the many Youth Ambassadors. I was able to develop a game about cyberbullying with which I took second place at the Safer Internet Awards. From 2018 until 2022 I worked as the youth coordinator at the Safer Internet Centre Austria. Since 2018 I have been studying law at the University of Vienna.
Hi everyone! I'm Manahil, better known as Mani, an 18-year-old small-town city girl who just graduated and is trying to find herself in a fast-moving world in which opinions on the internet collide with each other as hail does on car roofs. In recent years, I have made it my mission to support those opinions that stand for inclusion and uniqueness, so that those who cannot raise their own voices can also participate in everyday online and offline life. Don't you want to support us too? ;-)
Hello, my name is Molly and I am 18 years old. I’ve been involved in internet safety since I was 15 and I started working with BIK two years ago, firstly with the BIK Youth Panel, then as a BIK Youth Ambassador and now with the SIF Youth Advisory Group, over the past few years I have been so lucky to have the opportunity to work with such amazing people and that I have the space to voice my opinions on important issues so that maybe someday that world of social media will become a more inclusive place for all!
Hi! My name is Solveig Emilie, I usually just go by Sol and I’m 17 years old. My main interests are mental health, human rights and online safety. I have been part of BIK since 2020 which makes this my third year, first in the BIK Youth Panel, then BIK Youth Ambassador, and now I’m a member of the SIF Advisory Group. I feel really lucky to be able to have my voice heard on this important and current topic.
I am Yevgeny and I am 16 years old. I will be starting my post-secondary education in the autumn. I am really into history and politics and I am fond of the french language. I started my involvement in BIK in 2020 after I represented the Maltese Youth in the BIK Youth Panel. Following that, I was made a BIK Youth Ambassador and have been involved in advisory groups, workshops and other meetings, the most recent being in an advisory group to create the agenda for this year’s (2022) Safer Internet Forum. I love travelling and getting to know people, their cultures and lifestyles.