News from Estonian Union for Child WelfareApril 12, 2012
Estonian Union for Child Welfare (EUCW) advocates for child rights, coordinates Safer Internet Centre in Estonia and operates Hotline. Since September 2010 EUCW coordinates Safer Internet Centre in Estonia. On the project website www.targaltinternetis.ee there can be found information about training events in schools for parents, children and teachers, educational materials created during the project (lesson plans, tests, games etc), about Youth Panel, Advisory Board, Hotline, Helpline 116111 etc. The project activities are part of the Development Plan for Children and Families 2012-2020 which is coordinated by Ministry of Social Affairs, and National Development Plan for Reducing Violence for 2010-2014 which is coordinated by Ministry of Justice. In March 2012 Estonian Union for Child Welfare together with Tiger Leap Foundation, Estonian Advice Centres and Police and Border Guard Board submitted a proposal to continue Safer Internet Centre activities until 2014.
Estonian Hotline was created in January 2011 in close cooperation with Estonian Police and Border Guard Board. The Hotline is a web-based service which allows Internet users to report about materials containing sexual abuse of children presented on the Internet, child trafficking and other content unsuitable for children. Information can be forwarded anonymously through an application form on the Hotline website www.vihjeliin.ee. The Hotline webpage is in Estonian, Russian and English. Since launching the Hotline it has received 1079 reports from whch 188 were about child sexual abuse images. Since November 2011 Estonian Hotline became a member of the INHOPE network.
For Safer Internet Day 2012 three cartoons “Bunny-Johnny in the world of Internet” for children 3 to 8 year old were developed. The first cartoon introduces Internet and how it works. The second cartoon deals with safety issues, also information how Helpline can help in problematic situations is presented. The third cartoon explains how to create a strong password. The cartoons are available in Estonian, Russian and English on the project website www.targaltinternetis.ee. All three cartoons have got very good feedback from children, parents and teachers. Project Youth Panel members participated in creating the cartoons and in April youth panellists give live performances on Bunny-Johnny adventures in the world of Internet in bigger towns of Estonia. Youth panellists also carry out training events for younger children in schools about online safety issues.
In the end of the April Estonian Union for Child Welfare publishes a spring issue of magazine „Märka Last” (Notice a Child) which focuses on several themes concerning child rights: importance of playing in child life, health and use of online media, also an essay from the winner of the EUCW´s essay competition „How is living a child in Estonia” will be published. In February 2012 special issue about child safety online was published as an insert of the biggest newspaper in Estonia Postimees (56500 copies in Estonian and 12000 copies in Russian). The newspaper’s articles addressed mainly the Safer Internet Day 2012 topic Discovering the digital world together….safely, but also updated information about the Awareness Centre, Helpline and Hotline activities was given.
Since 2004 Estonian Union for Child Welfare has a Youth Council. In spring 2012 new members of the Council will be educated on child rights issues and about how to inform other children about child rights using different methods. After training events 15 members of the Youth Council will visit different Youth Centres and Schools to raise children´s awareness about child rights issues.
Project „Kindergartens – free of bullying” focuses on preventing bullying behaviour in kindergartens and promoting values like tolerance, honesty, respect and regard. The teachers of 26 kindergartens have been trained and received an educational package which contains handbook for teachers, thematical cards, informational leaflets for parents, posters etc. In 2012 preparations to extend project activities and involve all kindergartens in Estonia in 2013 take place.