Advocating for a Safe and responsible use of online technology on the International Day of Education 2024

The 24th of January is the International Day of Education, and UNESCO dedicates it this year to countering hate speech, a topic European Schoolnet knows very well, as Hacking Hate has been one of our lead motifs in response to the growing concerns across European governments, in particular among Ministries of Education, as well as schools, parents, and, of course, students.

A recent UNESCO/IPSOS survey conducted in 16 countries revealed that 67% of internet users reported encountering online hate speech, and 85% were concerned about the impact and influence of disinformation on their fellow citizens, viewing it as a real threat that can destabilize societies.
This led European Schoolnet to collaborate with different stakeholders to develop sustainable strategies to effect widespread positive change around online hate speech, as part of the EU-funded project SELMA, from 2017 to 2019, joining forces with Adolescent Health, South West Grid for Learning, The Diana Award, Media Authority for Rhineland-Palatinate (LMK), and the Center for Digital Pædagogik. SELMA built upon a Social and Emotional Learning approach to empower young people to become agents of change; it helps them better understand the phenomenon of online hate, providing them with tools and strategies to act and make a difference.

The International Education Day is also an opportunity to showcase the different existing initiatives and support that young people can access to safely use technology in this globalised digital world we live in.

One of these initiatives is The Safer Internet Day that takes place in February of each year to raise awareness of a safer and better internet for all, especially for children and young people.
As part of this annual celebration, we encourage everyone, including children and young people, parents and caregivers, teachers and educators, policymakers, industry, and others, to join "Together for a better internet."
From cyberbullying to social networking to digital identity, each year Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues and current concerns.
This day, you will find a wealth of multilingual resources empowering young people, their teachers, and their families to make the best possible use of online technology. It is a space where leaders in the internet safety community can communicate with the public and exchange ideas, knowledge, and experience with each other.
Join us and find out more about Safer Internet Day at, including links to campaign activities in your own country, or stay up to date via the SID social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter (now X), and LinkedIn. #SID2024 and #SaferInternetDay.
Find more about European Schoolnet activities fostering digital citizenship in education here: Digital Citizenship.