Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Jimmy Devins, T.D., today (Tuesday 10th February 2009), at the Department of Education in Marlborough Street, Dublin launched a multi-media campaign promoting the safe use of the Internet by young people.
This campaign encourages young people to take control of their online environments by reporting inappropriate content and contact on their favourite websites. The campaign, an initiative of the EU Safer Internet Programme, is being launched in all EU countries, Norway and Iceland today, EU Safer Internet Day. In Ireland, the campaign includes an online source of information and advice for young people, watchyourspace.ie, and the TEENTXT active listening service of the ISPCC.
The WATCH_YOUR_SPACE – STOP CYBERBULLYING campaign messages will be communicated through television advertising, online marketing, the distribution of information flyers and Internet safety seminars in libraries.
The Safer Internet Ireland consortium, including the Office for Internet Safety, the National Centre for Technology in Education
, the ISPCC
and the National Parents Council Primary
, is joined in this campaign by RTE
, Sky Media
, UPC Ireland
, City Channel
, The Library Council
Speaking at the launch, Minister Devins said “We have seen how integral new technologies have become to the lives of young people and how important it is that we educate ourselves about the benefits and dangers they bring. Email, instant messaging, texting and Bebo are allowing Irish children to connect with each other and engage with society in ways that were unimaginable just a couple of years ago. We are also seeing how the anonymous, instant, and far reaching communication capabilities of the Internet have brought a new dimension to child protection issues such as bullying, anorexia, suicide, and sexual exploitation. In this context we need to ensure that we empower young people to manage the risks inherent in the technology themselves... Our role, and a key focus of this campaign, is to encourage children and parents to report harmful and inappropriate material to host websites when they find it. I am grateful to all concerned for their contribution, and it is with great pleasure that I launch the WATCH_YOUR_SPACE campaign in Ireland.”
For further information, please see www.watchyourspace.ie
EU Safer Internet Day is an annual event, organised by the European Internet safety network and co-funded by the European Commission’s Safer Internet Programme. The campaign launched by Minister Devins today is complemented by a range of initiatives, such as the information leaflet “Internet Safety for Parents” launched by the Office for Internet Safety of the Department of Justice, Equality & Law Reform.