Finland's Police Department, the Barnahus project of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, the Helsinki University Hospital's Mentalhub and the Council of the Baltin Sea States join the "Online Road Safety" project.
The Protect Children “Online Road Safety” project has gained widespread interest and has partnered with significant actors in the field. The project launch will be celebrated with an international event with speakers as broad ranging as tech leader Peter Vesterbacka and Google Country Director Antti Järvinen and will include a panel discussion with some of the project partners. The Minister of the Interior, Maria Ohisalo, guardian of the project, will also be speaking at the event.
“Information networks and the services offered therein enable communication, school attendance,and hobbies. By maneuvering the internet in the right way, digital online road safety can be made safer and even prevent crimes. The Finnish Police supports the Protect Children initiative for the development of digital skills for youth and children,” confirms Kimmo Ulkuniemi, Chief Superintendent of the National Police Board.
Protect Children is also cooperating with numerous national actors, including the Barnahus project run by the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare.
”The Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare’s Barnahus program is joining the Online Road Safety project, because preventive measures such as media education should be a focus in the cooperation against violence committed against children,” says Taina Laajasalo, Leading Specialist for the Barnahus program.
The core of the new “Online Road Safety” – project lies in introducing a novel approach to digital
safety skills as preventive work for the protection of children as well as a way to promote mental
health. Both adults and children alike need information as well as a common and comprehensive
notion of digital security.
”The promotion of children’s digital safety skills through media education is also preventive mental health work,” reminds Jan-Henry Stenberg, Head of Division at the Helsinki University Hospital.
The Protect Children collaborates with the Council of the Baltic Sea States’s (CBSS) Children at Risk
Unit. International cooperation is crucial in order to raise awareness and to advocate the rights of
the child in the most effective way.
“Most people recognize the importance of - and feel comfortable - teaching young children how to keep safe in their communities and in traffic. But how do we teach children to look both directions online? Where and what are the traffic lights that indicate STOP or WALK? Where are the zebra crossings that will help children to move safely from one place to another online or to cross the intersections of online and offline life? Where can you run freely online and which roads do you need to take extra caution to cross or stay away from altogether? We are excited to support this project since it promotes a new perspective on how we teach children how to stay safe online, bringing us closer to the reality of where children play, interact and learn today – online, offline and at the intersections between the two.” Olivia Lind-Haldorsson from CBSS sums the importance of the project.
Havas Helsinki, part of a global advertising agency group and long time partner and supporter of Protect Children, is responsible for the visual image of the project.