International Internet Day was celebrated on May 17 to raise awareness of the possibilities offered by new technologies and to promote generalized access to the internet.
Managua. With the aim of promoting the exchange of good practices for the safe and creative use of the internet for educational ends and to promote the definition of policies and protocols for the prevention, response to and denunciation of cybercrimes, the Working Group for the Safe Use of the Internet in Nicaragua held the 4th Forum-Fair on Creative and Safe Internet Use in the Ministry of Education’s “Elena Arellano” auditorium.
“While it is true that the internet has positive effects in different areas of children’s lives, contributing to the development of their digital capacities, we must accompany them to ensure they are protected from the risks and to strengthen their learning,” stated UNICEF Nicaragua’s Deputy Representative Paulo Sassarao during his presentation on the “Protection of the Rights of Children in the Digital World.”
The event involved the participation of the leading actors in the education community, including students, Ministry of Education (MINED) delegates, school directors, educational technology teachers, and parents, as well as special invitees such as the UNICEF Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean’s Child Rights and Business Focal Point, and representatives from the Nicaraguan Science and Technology Council (CONICYT) and the Nicaraguan Internet and Telecommunications Chamber (CANITEL).
Protocol for promoting values for the safe use of technologies
During the forum, a panel debate was held with the participation of experts on different issues. UNICEF regional advisor Marcos Sotelo stressed the key concepts of digital citizenship, key actors for preventing risks in cyberspace, and regional experiences in relation to internet safety. Dr. Renata Rodrigues, the Central American University’s academic vice-rector, presented the findings of a “Study of ICT habits and uses” promoted by the Working Group for the Safe Use of the Internet. And Marta García Terán, Save the Children Nicaragua’s advocacy and communication coordinator, informed about the results of a Regional Consultation on Harassment and Cyberharassment conducted with children from 10 countries in the region in 2016.
Meanwhile, the Movistar company’s Telefonica Foundation presented its “dialoguing” programme, which promotes responsible technology use and digital trust among families.
The forum ended with the presentation of the “Protocol for the promotion of values for the safe use of technologies” by Mónica Genet Guerrero, MINED director of education technology. The protocol was produced by MINED’s Education Counselling Directorate with support from World Vision and the Ministry of Education in order to prevent and detect situations of risk that children might face and provide accompaniment in response to them.
A fair was also held alongside the forum, presenting good experiences of creative internet use, such as the UNICEF system for real-time monitoring of educational management.
Next steps of the Working Group for the Safe Use of the Internet in Nicaragua
As part of the follow up to the Working Group’s 2017 Work Plan, a meeting was held to plan different initiatives. These included a forum with communication media to inform about the study’s findings; training sessions to strengthen group members on child participation; the implementation of the Guidelines for Industry on Child Online Protection, developed by the GSMA global association of mobile ecosystem operators and companies and UNICEF and GSMA at the end of 2014; and a meeting with the institutions responsible for the denunciation route and legislation on cybercrimes for an initial look at joint long-term actions.
Working Group for the Safe Use of the Internet in Nicaragua
The Working Group for the Safe Use of the Internet is a space that promotes initiatives favouring safe internet use. It involves the participation of government institutions, academia, NGOs and private enterprise. The Group is coordinated by CONICYT and consists of the Ministry of Education, Telefónica–Movistar, the Central American University, the National Engineering University, the Nicaraguan Telecommunications Chamber, Save the Children, World Vision, the Zamora Terán Foundation, and UNICEF as a recent addition.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org
Olga Moraga, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Nicaragua firstname.lastname@example.org.