Celebrating Safer Internet Day
Did you know it’s estimated that one in three internet users is a child under 18 years of age? 1
As we embrace the digital age, ensuring a safer online environment becomes increasingly vital, especially for our younger users. That's why the global initiative of Safer Internet Day on 6 February holds such significance. It's a reminder of our collective responsibility to make the online world a secure and enriching space for everyone, especially children.
This year, we're celebrating Safer Internet Day alongside some significant strides in child protection within the Wikimedia community. The Wikimedia Foundation has recently unveiled two crucial initiatives aimed at safeguarding the well-being of young users who access and contribute to Wikimedia projects.
Firstly the Child Rights Impact Assessment (CRIA) was released mid-January 2024. This assessment demonstrates Wikimedia's commitment to understanding and mitigating any potential risks faced by children on our platforms. By comprehensively analysing the impact, risks, and opportunities involved, we can better tailor our policies and practices to create a safer space for young minds to explore and learn.
The Wikimedia Foundation has also introduced a new policy dedicated to Combating Online Child Exploitation. This policy provides clear guidelines on how the Wikimedia Foundation’s Trust and Safety teams, along with legal experts, will address sensitive content and harmful conduct on our projects. It's a proactive step towards ensuring that Wikimedia platforms remain essential hubs of knowledge and creativity while actively combating any form of exploitation or harm.
Here at Wikimedia Australia, we wholeheartedly support these initiatives. We believe that everyone, regardless of age, should be able to access the wealth of information and knowledge available on Wikimedia platforms in a safe and supportive environment. By prioritising the well-being of our youngest users, we not only protect them from harm but also empower them to explore, create, and contribute to our shared knowledge with confidence. And by safeguarding our platforms, we foster an environment where young children can navigate safely, grow, learn and ultimately become informed and empowered adults.
So as we celebrate Safer Internet Day with others around the globe, let’s celebrate the steps we are taking for a safe, secure and inclusive online world for generations to come.
- Growing up in a connected world, UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, Florence, 2019.