The Safer Internet Forum is the key annual international conference on child online safety in Europe under the European Strategy for a Better Internet for Children ('BIK strategy'). Each year, usually in November, the Safer Internet Forum brings together stakeholders from countries all over Europe, and sometimes beyond, to discuss the latest trends, risks and solutions related to child online safety and the impact of technology on individuals and society.
This event, which mostly takes place in Brussels, is organised by the contractor of the Better Internet for Kids Portal on behalf of the European Commission DG CONNECT. In 2021, as was the case in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the forum is organised as an online event spread over several days with a focus on exploring how to make Europe's Digital Decade fit for children and young people. The 2021 event is one of the milestones towards a new BIK strategy, planned for 2022. More information on the event is available on the forum website.
Since its first edition in 2004, the forum has attracted around 300 participants each year, and twice as many in an online setting, including representatives from national Safer Internet Centres, ministries, governments and European Institutions. It is also attended by parents, teachers, carers, academics, researchers, social workers, industry partners and NGOs.
One feature of the forum is direct involvement of young people through the BIK Youth Panel, who present their ideas for a better and safer internet and the results of their co-creation processes, taking place throughout the year.
During its history, the forum has covered a variety of topics and themes, reflecting the changes and associated challenges in the digital world:
- 2021: ‘Shaping a #DigitalDecade4YOUth – how to make Europe's Digital Decade fit for children and young people’
- 2020: ’Digital (dis)advantage: creating an inclusive world for children and young people online’
- 2019: ‘From online violence to digital respect’
- 2018: ‘The impact of technology on children, young people and society’
- 2017: ‘From children's tech to resilient youth – how to foster well-being online?’
- 2016: ‘Be the change: principles, policies and practices for a better internet’
- 2015: ‘Breaking down barriers for a better internet’
- 2014: ‘Growing up digitally’
- 2013: ‘A Better Internet with YOU(th)’
- 2012 topic: Safer/better internet is a shared responsibility between all of us
- 2011: ‘Every European Child Digital Safely - Emerging challenges and youth engagement’
- 2010: ‘Online opportunities and risks’
- 2009: ‘Promoting online safety in schools’
- 2008 topics: Social networking and children, age verification, children's use of online technologies and media rating
- 2007 topics: Online-related sexual abuse of children, awareness raising and convergence of online technologies
- 2006 topics: Children's use of new media and blocking access to illegal content
- 2005: ‘Child safety and mobile phones’
- 2004: ‘Towards a European Code of Conduct for Internet Service Providers– protection of minors’