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Bulgarian and Rumanian SICsThe Bulgarian and Romanian Safer Internet Centres exchanged their experience in children's participation in the digital environment at an expert meeting. Other participants in the event were representatives of the Better Internet for Kids International Network, which brings together the International Association of Internet Hotlines (INHOPE) and the European Network of Helplines of the Safer Internet Centres (Insafe).

Data from the Romanian Safer Internet Centre shows that between 2008-2022 there were 27 146 alerts on their Hotline and 10 082 on their Helpline. Around 600 000 young people and 169 000 teachers and parents were involved in internet safety awareness-raising activities.

Reports to the Bulgarian Hotline for 2005-2022 amounted to 86 928. The 124 123 helpline has supported more than 5 000 children, teenagers and parents between 2011 and 2022. More than 30 000 children and teenagers, more than 15 000 teachers and more than 12 000 parents learned how to recognise and protect themselves from online risks.

The forum shared the best practices of Bulgaria and Romania in the field, as well as, the challenges the teams face every day in their work. After presenting their activities, the representatives of the Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre had the opportunity to learn about the work of their Romanian colleagues. The representatives of our northern neighbour shared valuable information about the campaigns, events and all the good practices they rely on to reach more people. An interesting example is the social experiment they organised in the framework of the Safer Internet Day conference, which we celebrate every year in February. All attendees were sent the message "The world would be better without you". After the initial shock, they were asked to think about how a child would feel in this situation.

The Romanian representatives also presented an impactful video they had prepared, which aims to raise awareness of the problem of Cyberbullying among children. As part of their campaign to raise awareness about the challenges and risks for children online, 4 podcasts featuring a psychologist, an influencer, a member of the scientific community and a TV presenter were also presented.

Both the Bulgarian and the Romanian Safer Internet Centre pointed to the lack of human resources and the educational system that hinders their work as a major challenge.

The meeting was held with the support of Disney Comapny.