Sessions Briefing

Briefing of all plenaries and sessions of the “Internet Safety for Youth and Children” conference


Day I, Monday 24th March, 2008

PLEANARY I: RECOGNIZING OPPORTUNITIES AND AREAS OF CHALLENGE

The moderator has made brief remarks on how we can benefit form the Internet, and at the same time be protected against any potential harms, outlining the areas of opportunities and those of challenge in terms how far young people are safe on the Internet.

A representative of Net-Aman has expressed some of the positive, as well as the negative, aspects of the Internet as far as Egyptian young people are concerned. Presentations have explained the potential means through which young people might be vulnerable: (a) Content: how do peers use self-generated content? And how should children deal with such material; (b) Contact: Social networking via the internet; learning to deal with each other and to identify potential sources of harm in cyber space; (c) Commercialism: How is commercial pressure exercised on line? And risks related to online gaming and addiction. The plenary stressed that the community should be further educated on the benefits and opportunities of the internet, in addition to highlighting the areas of challenge, and that parents should have a bigger role by engaging in a fruitful dialogue with their children.


PLENARY II: SHOWCASING EFFECTIVE RESPONSES

The moderator has highlighted that there could be a number of ways to reduce the impact of any abuse of the Internet, and that all stakeholders are encouraged to share their ideas on how to promote Internet safety for young people and children. A representative of Net-Aman has shared the thoughts of young people on what they expect from different stakeholders in promoting the safety of family on the Internet. A group of leading experts from around the world have been invited to share the work they have developed in responding to the risks, the lessons learned and key issues to be considered in securing Internet safety in their respective societies. The plenary has also included a number of suggestions on how to promote the culture of Internet safety, and encouraged the increased embracement of the culture of self-regulation.


SESSION I: HOW CAN THE EDUCATIONAL SECTOR LIVE UP TO THE CHALLENGE?

The moderator has stressed the role of the educational sector in promoting internet safety among young people. A representative of Net-Aman has commented on the role of schools, indicating that young people welcome receiving further education on Internet safety. Presentations included an overview of the efforts done by the educational sector in different societies to guide children and youth on the safe use of the Internet. Presenters have shared both the success stories they have achieved and the areas of challenge they have faced when working on the promotion of Internet safety among young people and parents in the educational sector. The session has also considered the possible means to integrate Internet safety programs into the school curriculum.


Day II, Tuesday 25th March, 2008


SESSION II: THE CHANGING FACE OF THE NET

The moderator introduced the session by touching upon some of the most recent services provided through the Internet, wondering how young people can benefit from – and be protected against – such services.

A representative from Net-Aman has reflected on how Egyptian young people are reacting to the new services provided through the Internet, and how such services can make a change in the life and behavior of young people. Presenters have discussed the complexities of new features of the Internet, the integration of services, and the impact of such advancements on young people. The presentations of this session have also considered the implications of the diversified cultural backgrounds for the development of successful policy and practice.


SESSION III: FEEDBACK FROM THE ICT COMMUNITY

The moderator has highlighted that the business sector should be responding as a major stakeholder to the ongoing debate on how to promote Internet safety. A representative from Net-Aman has indicated that the business sector can have a major role in protecting young people on the Internet.

Presenters have shared the efforts exerted by their institutions on the important strides to address the child online safety issues. They have also shared their thought on what could be the solutions to maximize the role of Industry in promoting Internet safety.


SESSION IV: THE SIGNIFICANT ROLE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT BODIES

The moderator has set out the context by identifying the role that law enforcement bodies should have in protecting and regulating the IC sector. A representative of Net-Aman has raised some questions on how the Egyptian legislation system could be amended to respond to the various types of cyber crimes. Presenters have shared their views on how effective regulation and police responses could be developed to if the society is to protect youth and young people on the Internet.


SESSION V: VOICE OF THE YOUTH: “YOUTH SPEAK, WE LISTEN

In this session, Net-Aman has presented the findings of a survey they have been conducting among Egyptian young people and children. The purpose of the study was to define the trends and gauge the level of safety that young people and children have.

Net-Aman has called on all young Egyptians to join the network of the focus group (netamaninfo@cyberpeaceinitiative.org), and engage in the activities that the group.

The session has also included interviews with teenagers who are not members of Net-Aman, and they have expressed their views and thoughts on how young people and children should be protected in the Internet.

The session was concluded by remarks from representative of the Egyptian Parents Internet Safety Focus Group. They have called upon all Egyptian parents to join the group (parentsinfo@cyberpeaceinitiative.org), and engage in a positive dialogue with young people on how they use the Internet.


CLOSURE:

The closing session wrapped up the discussions that have taken place in the conference plenaries and sessions, pointing out the main topics raised, and the role of each stakeholder. The session was closed by sharing some of the recommendations that presenters and panelists have made during their participation.


Read more: Internet Safety For Youth and Children Conference Agenda

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