Empowering Youth Toward Having Safer Internet
Empowering youth and children should be our main focus while addressing the issue of internet safety. This is not derived only from the fact that youth are the most active user of the internet and hence being the most exposed to its hazards; but also from the fact that they are very dynamic creatures with tremendous high potentialities.
The process of empowering youth should be a joint collaborative effort where different actors take part in it. This process should include different actors; governmental sectors, industry, civil society, parents/carers and even individuals as merely representing their own selves. To better carry out this process, it shouldn't be always an up-downward process where parents or school dictate on youth what to do; fairly it should be a down-upward process where youth feel that they are the heart of it and that they are the main practitioners. The ultimate goal of empowering youth is to enable them to become catalyst of change not only for themselves but for the entire society.
The role of those who have the upper hand is to provide youth with all necessary information and resources, to let youth assess the values by which the would follow, to let them arbitrate by themselves the harmful materials on the web, to let them experience self-surveillance and last to provide them with guidance, however this is to be in a from of a mentor-mentee relationship.
On the other hand, the role of youth would start by recognizing the hazards and risks which threat them on the web then to determine by themselves the best way to deal and surmount such threats. Eventually, they should be empowered to be the catalyst of raising awareness and spreading it out through the deployment of different effective channels and tools to reach the largest possible segment in the society.
The ultimate goal of the web is to support and improve our life and our wellbeing not to degrade and savage them.
Cyber Peace Initiative Team