Safer Internet Day 2017: “Be the Change’’
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07 February 2017, Brussels

Today, more than 120 countries worldwide, including all 28 countries of the European Union, along with many organisational supporters, are celebrating Safer Internet Day (SID) for the fourteenth consecutive year. Initiated under the European Commission’s Safer Internet Programme and now continuing under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which co-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.

Organised by the Insafe network (coordinated by European Schoolnet, a network of 30 European Ministries of Education) and INHOPE (the International Association of Internet Hotlines), the profile of Safer Internet Day has grown significantly over the years. The theme for the 2017 celebration is “Be the change: Unite for a better internet”, highlighting the fact that we all have a role to play and that, by uniting and working together, we can achieve a safer and better internet for all.

Each year, thousands of exciting events and activities take place to mark the day and raise awareness of the issues, right across the globe. Find out what is happening in your country by visiting the Safer Internet Day website. A gallery of educational resources is also available on the site - schools and educators are encouraged to use it to help them raise awareness of safe and responsible use of the internet and other online services both in the classroom and with parents and carers, not just on SID but all year through.

Last year’s celebrations of Safer Internet Day saw more than 21,000 schools and 19.5 million people involved in SID actions across Europe alone, while over 400 million people were reached worldwide on Twitter with the SID hashtags, which trended globally several times on SID itself. We expect the SID 2017 celebrations to be even bigger - a Thunderclap was released online this morning to mark the start of celebrations with a potential social reach of over 1.9 million people, and news and resources will be shared throughout the day on the campaign’s Facebook and Twitter profiles.

Hans Martens, Digital Citizenship Programme Manager at European Schoolnet and Coordinator of the Insafe Network said “This year’s theme of “Be the change: Unite for a better internet” amplifies the messages we deliver through our wider Better Internet for Kids (BIK), Insafe and digital citizenship work. Children and young people have a right to enjoy and benefit from all the positives that digital technologies offer, but in doing so they also have particular needs and vulnerabilities. Governments, civil society and industry have a joint responsibility – together with parents, teachers and peers – to ensure that the internet is a place of opportunities for everyone to access knowledge, to communicate, to develop skills and to improve future prospects. Safer Internet Day allows us to place a global spotlight on these messages which we advocate daily and reach a much bigger audience.”

Sarah Willoughby, Web Content Specialist at European Schoolnet who leads the global coordination activities for the campaign said: “There has been a real buzz of activity in the build up to Safer Internet Day 2017 as we have seen more countries and more supporters than ever before get involved and plan their SID celebrations, truly getting behind the spirit of the campaign theme to “Be the change” for a better internet. We can’t wait to track the events of the day as they unfold across the globe, and to continue bringing the messages and SID successes to the fore beyond the day itself in our continuing work on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) portal and quarterly BIK bulletin”.

Follow Safer Internet Day events on Twitter using #SID2017 and #SaferInternetDay.

For further information, please contact:

Hans Martens (PhD), Digital Citizenship Programme Manager and Insafe Network Coordinator, European Schoolnet 
Tel: +32 2 790 75 75, email:

Sarah Willoughby, Web Content Specialist, European Schoolnet
Tel: +32 2 790 75 75, email:

About Safer Internet Day
Safer Internet Day is part of a global drive by awareness-raising partners to promote a safer and better internet for all users, especially young people. It was initiated under the European Commission’s Safer Internet Programme and now continues under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). Follow Safer Internet Day on Twitter @safeinternetday and on Facebook @SaferInternetDay.

About the network of European Safer Internet Centres
With funding provided by the European Commission's Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the joint Insafe and INHOPE network of Safer Internet Centres collaborates to deliver a safer internet, promoting safe, responsible use of the internet and mobile devices to children, young people and their families, and working to identify and remove illegal content online. Visit the Better Internet for Kids portal for further information. For further information on CEF, visit the EC’s Digital Agenda for Europe website.

About European Schoolnet
European Schoolnet, is the network of 30 European Ministries of Education, based in Brussels. As a not-for-profit organisation, we aim to bring innovation in teaching and learning to our key stakeholders: Ministries of Education, schools, teachers, researchers, and industry partners.

About the European Commission
The Commission plays its part in promoting and providing a safer and better internet. The Better Internet for Kids Strategy includes:
•    financial support to Safer Internet Centres in all Member States plus Iceland and Norway;
•    coordination and funding at EU level through the platform;
•    contribution in setting up a regulatory framework.
The Commission also acts as a facilitator of self-regulatory initiatives, such as the Alliance to better protect minors online.
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