The Internet should be a tool for gathering knowledge and information as well as for entertainment for users of all age groups. But nowadays more and more people are afraid of encountering unwanted and harmful content instead of useful information while being online.
A combination of technical tools with increased effectiveness and approved pedagogical measures seems to be the solution. To develop the ideal mix of both there is a need for collaboration between specialists from the technical side and experts from the pedagogical side. Therefore at the Youth Protection Roundtable we will bring together the relevant players to the five bi-annual international meetings within the project's duration of 30 months, from November 2006 till April 2009. Considering the various cultural backgrounds of European countries, the activities will emphasise the following elements:
- Facilitate and coordinate the exchange of views between technical experts and children's welfare specialists
- Find a common language
- Enable technicians to take account of the possible effect of newly developed technologies on their safe use by children
- Improve the accessibility of filtering technologies
- Provide European parents and educators with the information necessary to decide on adequate content in accordance with their cultural values
- Motivate children's welfare experts to include consultation on appropriate filtering into their portfolio
- Identify good practice approaches
- Include a strong evaluation and assessment component
- Build international bridges to the policy-making process within Europe
- Provide a robust outreach and communication strategy
While many fruitful and distinct ideas are sure to blossom at the Youth Protection Roundtable, one overarching goal is to develop a common strategy embedded in the cultural situation to prevent children and youth from encountering unwanted and harmful content while using the Internet.
The work packages of the project are determined by the five bi-annual Roundtable meetings. The meetings are the milestones of the project. Besides management and planning, assessment and dissemination, the work plan consists of the work packages for preparing, follow-up and carrying-out of the meetings.
The thematic network is organised and managed by the Germany based Digital Opportunities Foundation - Stiftung Digitale Chancen (SDC). With Citizens Online in UK strongly related to the Internet Watch Foundation, NICAM/Kijkwijzer from the Netherlands, the Nobody's Children Foundation in Poland as the Polish National Awareness Node, the Associazione Difesa Consumatori e Ambiente (ADICONSUM) and Save the Children Italia (SC Italy) as the partners in the Italian National Awareness Node, Extreme Media Solutions, the Greek National Awareness Node, Protégeles, the Spanish National Awareness Node, Microsoft and Forum des droits sur l’internet from France, The Mannerheim League, the Finnish National Awareness Node, Saferinternet.at, the Austrian National Awareness Node and Klicksafe as the German National Awareness Node, we have built strong relationships to all regions of the European Community.
The organisations mentioned above act as multipliers in their regional areas.