Hanafin Launches Internet Safety Initiatives
Mary Hanafin T D, Minister for Children, tomorrow (Tuesday 2 October 2001) launches a number of Internet Safety Initiatives on behalf of the Government appointed Internet Advisory Board.
These particular initiatives form part of a broad canvas of measures designed to improve Internet safety, especially for children. The Government is committed to taking all possible steps to minimise the dangers while at the same time productively exploiting the full resources of the Internet. This is one of the targets of the National Children Strategy.
The Minister also launched a piece of original research commissioned by the Board, exploring Internet downside issues among 10 to 14 year old Internet users and their parents. This is the first report of its kind in Ireland and identifies a number of focus areas for addressing Internet safety issues. In commenting on the importance of this type of research, Minister Hanafin said she was particularly interested to note that 86% of parents feel they themselves had the primary responsibility for protecting their children when they use the Internet but only 23% feel they know more about the Internet than their children.
“Parents should not be put off by the knowledge gap identified in the research”, she said “Start talking to your children and set some rules”.
The new website of the Advisory Board was also launched by the Minister. This site will be a useful resource for all those interested in Internet safety in Ireland as well as providing simple safety tips for both parents and children.
Popular presenter Ian Dempsey is featured in a radio campaign aimed at parents with children who use the Internet. Minister Hanafin said “An estimated 30% of Ireland’s 10 – 14 year olds are regular Internet users but many parents would not have direct contact with the Internet. For this reason we are using traditional media to get the safety message across”.