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Call key data
Network of safer Internet Centres (SICs)
Estimated EU contribution per project
between € 80,000.00 and € 1,350,000.00
Link to the call
Link to the submission
The objective of the topic is to continue to support national SICs which may be composed of one or more NGOs, government bodies/agencies, private sector organisations in providing online safety information, educational resources, public awareness tools and counselling and reporting services (through dedicated helplines and hotlines) for young people, teachers, and parents. The activities performed by the SICs will help minors to tackle online risks and to become media-literate, resilient, digital citizens, and will allow citizens to anonymously report online child sexual abuse material (CSAM).
To reach all children, the Safer Internet Centres will pay particular attention to children with special or specific needs, including those from disadvantaged and vulnerable backgrounds.
The funding will ensure the continuation of the well-established European network of national SICs, by enabling the awarded consortia to provide at least:
- A centre for raising awareness among children, parents/carers, teachers and educators as well as other relevant professionals working with children about online opportunities and risks for the under 18s. The focus will be to identify and address:
- specific and general emerging risks (e.g. new apps and games, but also AI, virtual, augmented and extended reality, the internet of things and other technological changes raising new social and ethical challenges that impact children);
- issues such as mental and physical health risks related to the use of technologies (e.g. self-harm, cyberbullying, risky online challenges, promotion of eating disorders);
- risks facing children as young consumers (e.g. nudges to spend money, aggressive marketing strategies, lootboxes) on which specific attention will be paid.
- A helpline to give advice and support to parents and children on issues related to children's use of digital technologies and services; to strengthen support to victims of cyberbullying, closer cooperation with the national Child Helpline 116111 service is required.
- A hotline for tackling CSAM (i.e., receiving, analysing, and processing reports of such material). Closer cooperation with law enforcement and the private sector should be further explored in the context of the EU strategy for a more effective fight against child sexual abuse and the proposed new legislation.
- A youth panel to engage directly with children from different demographic groups, including the organisation of regular youth participation activities, allowing them to express their views and pool their knowledge and experience of using online technologies. Adequate turnover and an open selection of participants is required.
SICs shall strengthen their support to children in vulnerable situations (such as children with disabilities, children from a minority, racial or ethnic background, refugee children, children in care, LGBTQI+ children, as well as children from a disadvantaged socio-economic background, who all may face additional challenges in the digital environment). For example, to address the digital divide, they should offer non-formal education and training to these groups and communities.
In addition, SICs will:
- support the monitoring of the impact of the digital transformation on children’s well-being in cooperation with the BIK platform,
- support the implementation of relevant EU strategies,
- promote the distribution of relevant online training modules (MOOCs) for teachers,
- expand the role of BIK Youth Ambassadors and BIK Youth Panels to support peer-to-peer activities at national, regional and local level,
- provide trustworthy resources for and carry out campaigns targeting children, parents, carers and teachers, educators and other relevant contacts working with children (e.g. sports coaches, club leaders). Training on children’s rights online should also be included in these initiatives to create a stronger awareness that children’s rights online are the same as offline, as stipulated by UN General Comment No. 25 (2021) on children’s rights in relation to the digital environment (CRC/C/GC/25).
- National SICs as a one-stop-shop for reliable and age-appropriate information.
- Digital literacy in Member States and associated countries in formal and informal education settings (e.g., youth participation activities, workshops, classroom visits, competitions, peer to peer activities).
- Support to parents, carers, teachers, educators and other professionals working with children to better understand the risks and opportunities of children accessing digital content and services (e.g., information sessions, train the trainers programmes, and online and offline material).
- Timely information to local, national, and European actors on emerging risks through the helpline service.
- Access to resources and services by public authorities, including law enforcement agencies, and exchanges with hotline analysts to develop better preventive measures and to remove online child sexual abuse material (CSAM).
- Increased cooperation of the private sector with the SICs, including those recognised in the future as “trusted flaggers” to assist the public, in particular children, when confronted with harmful and illegal content.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Island (Ísland), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Liechtenstein, Montenegro (Црна Гора), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна)
Education and training institution, Natural Person, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be:
- legal entities (public or private bodies)
- established in one of the eligible countries:
- EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs))
- listed EEA countries and countries associated to the Digital Europe Programme or countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an association agreement and where the agreement enters into force before grant signature (together ‘DEP associated countries’, see list of participating countries)
Natural persons are NOT eligible (with the exception of self-employed persons, i.e. sole traders, where the company does not have legal personality separate from that of the natural person).
International organisations — International organisations are not eligible, unless they are International organisations of European Interest within the meaning of Article 2 of the Digital Europe Regulation (i.e. international organisations the majority of whose members are Member States or whose headquarters are in a Member State).
EU bodies — EU bodies (with the exception of the European Commission Joint Research Centre) can NOT be part of the consortium.
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System (accessible via the Topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section. Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all the requested information and all required annexes and supporting documents:
- Application Form Part A — contains administrative information about the participants (future coordinator, beneficiaries and affiliated entities) and the summarised budget for the project (to be filled in directly online)
- Application Form Part B — contains the technical description of the project (to be downloaded from the Portal Submission System, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded)
- Mandatory annexes and supporting documents (to be uploaded):
- detailed budget table/calculator: not applicable
- CVs of core project team: not applicable
- activity reports of last year: not applicable
Proposals are limited to maximum 70 pages (Part B).