In brief

Most children in Serbia (86%) use the Internet on a daily basis. Two thirds of our youngest respondents, age 9-10, and 98% of 15-17-year-olds access the Internet daily via mobile or smartphones. Children tend to spend time online without adequate adult insight or supervision, which has important policy implications. On average, children spend more than three hours online (four and a half hours in the oldest age group—15-17). They mostly use the internet for leisure and to communicate with family and friends, to play video games and spend time on social media. The Internet is used less frequently for homework and school-related activities. Digital citizenship-related activities such as signing a petition online or joining a cause they believe in online, are far rarer for young people in Serbia –a sweeping 88% reports never to have done that; another 79% say they never discussed social or political issues online. In a country in transition affected by recent conflicts, these are relevant highlights for educators, policy makers, and international organizations working in this field. Almost half of the children age 9-12 do not know how to change privacy settings; but the majority of older respondents say they do know how to do this. Assessment of one's digital skills correlates positively with age, with one exception, which is the use of a programming language (e.g. Scratch, Python, C ++). This is the only skill in which younger students feel more competent than older ones. 74% of respondents say they have a profile on a social networking or a gaming platform; 41% of 9-10-year-olds say they have a profile on a platform, as well as 72% of 11-12-year-olds, even though the age limit tends to be at least 13 years of age. 16% of our respondents have experienced cyberbullying and 15% say they experienced face-to-face bullying. Every third student in the sample has experienced something that bothered them online in the past year and almost a quarter did not talk about it to anyone, or ignored the problem hoping that it would go away by itself.

For more information, please read the full-length report available in English and in Serbian.

Please click here for Serbian language website.

About the Project

Serbia became a member of the EU Kids Online research network in 2018, when funds were raised for the country to participate in the 2018 wave of European surveys. Previously, pilot data on children’s digital media use was collected as part of the Global Kids Online Project[1]. The EU Kids Online survey in Serbia is the first piece of research on a nationally representative sample in Serbia that covers such a wide range of topics regarding children and young people’s digital media use. The data was collected using pen-and-paper method in 60 schools across the country, a total of 1150 students participated in the survey. Previous research covered some of these topics on a non-representative or smaller sample[2] or on specific topics such as digital media literacy[3] or cyberbullying.[4]

The project was initiated by Dr. Tijana Milosevic and Prof. Elisabeth Staksrud at the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Oslo, Norway. The survey was financially supported by the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Oslo; OSCE Serbia, UNICEF Serbia, The Serbian Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications as well as the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development.


[2]Popadić, D. & Kuzmanović, D. (2016). Mladi u svetu interneta – korišćenje digitalne
tehnologije, rizici i zastupljenost digitalnog nasilja među učenicima u Srb
Beograd: Ministarstvo prosvete, nauke i tehnološkog razvoja Republike Srbije i

[3] Kuzmanović, D. (2017). Empirijska provera konstrukta digitalne pismenosti i analiza prediktora postignuća. Beograd: Filozofski fakultet

[4] Rančić, J. (2018). Violence on social networking sites in the Republic of Serbia. CM: Communication and Media, 13(43), 95-124.


Links to e-safety organizations and projects

Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, “Smart and Safe” (Serb. Pametno i bezbedno)

Nadel, Children’s Helpline (Serb. Nacionalna Dečija Linija)


Save the Children

Net Patrola (child sexual abuse context removal)

Links to research publications, projects and resources on children’s rights, families and digital media use

Popadić, D., Pavlović, Z., Petrović, D., & Kuzmanović, D. (2016) Global kids online Serbia: Balancing between Opportunities and Risks. Results from the Pilot Study, Belgrade: University of Belgrade.

Popadić, D. & Kuzmanović, D. (2016). Mladi u svetu interneta – korišćenje digitalne
tehnologije, rizici i zastupljenost digitalnog nasilja među učenicima u Srb
. Beograd: Ministarstvo prosvete, nauke i tehnološkog razvoja Republike Srbije i

Kuzmanović, D. (2017). Empirical validation of digital literacy construct and analysis of predictors of achievement (Doctoral thesis). Belgrade: Faculty of Philosophy.

UNICEF-funded project Family Guide for Safer Internet, resources available here.


Dragan Popadic

Dragan Popadić (Beograd, 1955) is a social psychologist, Professor at the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade.

His research area covers wide range of social psychological issues including political socialization, value orientations, ethnocentrism, social conflicts and violence, and works in these areas have been published in a number of domestic and international books and journals. He participated in creation of numerous programs aimed to develop non-violent communication and tolerance, and in introduction civic education in school curricula. He was involved in international projects dealing with regional research of youth and education for democracy as well as in national research projects about the impact of social transition on individuals and groups and forming new competences in changing society.

Since 2005 he has being engaged in the School Without Violence program, jointly implemented by the Ministry of Education and UNICEF in primary and secondary schools in Serbia, which resulted in developing an integrated school prevention program applied in almost three hundreds schools in Serbia and in extensive report on violence in schools in Serbia.

Zoran Pavlovic

Zoran Pavlović, PhD, is a social psychologist and an Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Serbia. His main scientific interests include the study of political behaviour, political socialisation and human values. He participated in several national and international projects, including the Global Kids Online. He has authored or co-authored a number of books, book chapters and articles in scientific journals, including the book, Violence in Serbian schools: An overview from 2006 to 2013, as a part of the UNICEF’s ‘School Without Violence’ prevention programme.

Dobrinka Kuzmanovic

Dobrinka Kuzmanovic, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Media and Communication, in Belgrade and a researcher at Institute of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Serbia.  Dobrinka defended her PhD thesis on the topic of digital literacy among students in Serbia. Her research interests include youth technology use, learning with ICT, digital literacy, child safety online, relationship between online and offline vulnerability, digital violence among children and youth. She participated in several national and international research projects dedicated to children and youth: School without violence - towards safe and enabling environment for children, Stop digital violence, OECD/PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), Global Kids Online. 


Tijana Milosevic is a postdoctoral researcher at Dublin City University’s Anti-Bullying Centre, focusing on social media policies, digital media, internet governance and the implications for children’s wellbeing. She is the country team coordinator for the EU Kids Online network in Serbia and a member of the Norwegian EU Kids Online team. She previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Oslo. Tijana’s written a monograph on social media platforms’ anti-bullying interventions (Protecting Children Online? Cyberbullying Policies of Social Media Companies, MIT Press 2018). She has also researched children’s privacy and the Internet of Things with the COST Action DigiLitEY collaborative project. Previously, she studied broader communication research topics (always from an interdisciplinary perspective), focusing on media coverage of the war in Iraq, US public diplomacy, climate change and copyright. Her works have appeared in the Journal of Children and Media, The International Journal of Communication and New Media & Society, among others. She holds a PhD in Communication from American University’s School of Communication; and an MA in Media and Public Affairs from the School of Media and Public Affairs, both in Washington DC, where she studied and worked for six years. She holds a BA in journalism and political science from the American University in Bulgaria.