Finnish Safer Internet Centre
The Finnish Safer Internet Centre exists to promote a safer and better use of the internet and mobile technologies among children and young people. The Finnish Safer Internet Centre (FISIC) is a joint project of three individual organisations: the National Audiovisual Institute (KAVI), Save the Children Finland (STC) and the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare (MLL). Each organisation has an established role in Finnish society and strong national and international relations.
The objective of the awareness centre is to raise citizens’ awareness and competences in creating better and safer internet and other digital environments. The centre organises awareness-raising campaigns and develops materials and toolkits for dissemination. Cross-sectorial dialogue and partnerships with national organisations and close co-operation with the academic research community are essential for reaching the objectives.
Mannerheim League for Child Welfare maintains two national helplines, Child and Youth Helpline and Parent Helpline. Both helplines are confidential, anonymous and toll free for helpline users. Both helplines are confidential, anonymous and toll free for helpline users.
The main objective of the helpline is to answer online questions and telephone calls from children and parents related to children’s use of online technologies. Parents and children can obtain advice on how to deal with harmful contact (grooming), harmful conduct (cyberbullying), and harmful content, and uncomfortable or scary experiences of using online technologies. All helpline volunteers go through basic training before they start volunteering. The volunteers are also offered training on online safety issues and are provided with online safety support material.
Children and young people’s participation is included in project actions whenever reasonable: not just by one single youth panel but in various groups of different-aged minors. Youth participation actions are involved, for example, in the Peer Student Programme implemented in 90 per cent of Finnish schools and in the Online Peer Student Programme carried out in youth voluntary groups.
The MLL YouthNet website and its social media channels provide a platform for participation in online youth activities. On the YouthNet platform, young people can find awareness information and tools, express publicly their views and productions, share experiences and peer support concerning their use of online technologies, and reach the Helpline services.