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Children’s internet usage is about the European average. Compared to other European countries, online activities related to communication and entertainment (watching videos, social networking sites, instant messaging) are more popular in Belgium. Children’s exposure to online bullying and meeting strangers is (almost) equal to the European average. Exposure to sexual risks (sexual images or messages) is slightly higher. Although active mediation is common among Belgian parents, they are also more likely to use restrictive or monitoring strategies to assist in their children’s online behavior. Hence, Belgium belongs to the ‘protected by restrictions’ group of countries.
In early 2012, the Belgian EU Kids Online findings were published in a book and presented at a research day, with the support of the Ministry of Culture, Youth, Sports & Media. The purpose was to inform policy makers and give input for further policy development on media literacy and safer internet use.
The EU Kids Online team collaborates with and receives support from the Flemish Centre on Media Literacy (mediawijs.be). This Centre coordinates research on media literacy and online safety and helps us in disseminating our findings.
The Belgian Safer Internet Centre (Child Focus) and the Belgian Cybercrime Centre of Excellence for Training Research and Education (b-ccentre) have implemented the EU Kids Online findings in the development of safer internet initiatives and awareness-raising campaigns.
The Belgian EU Kids Online team was invited multiple times as experts to stakeholder meetings, workshops and projects on the topic. Examples are the projects Friendly Attack, SPION, EMSOC, and workshops organized by Child Focus, b-ccentre, etc.
Leen d'Haenens is Professor at the Institute for Media Studies at KU Leuven, Belgium, where she teaches Western media policy, media and diversity, and analysis of media texts. Her research interests include youngsters and media, ethnic minorities and media, media responsibility and accountability matters.
Verónica Donoso obtained her PhD in social sciences at KU Leuven in 2007. She has held positions as Senior Researcher at CUO, post-doctoral researcher at the Media & ICT in Organizations & Society (MIOS) research group, University of Antwerp, and as Project Manager for the Belgian Safer Internet Centre at Child Focus. She also served as project manager of the Ch@dvice project, an EC funded project to support young victims of sexual abuse via chat.
Joke Bauwens holds a PhD in Media & Communication Studies, lectures in the Media Studies Department of the Free University of Brussels and is a member of the research group iMinds-SMIT. Her research interests are the media practices of young people, social and cultural practices in digital and virtual environments, and transitions in the field of broadcasting.
Katia Segers is Professor at the Media Studies Department of the Free University of Brussels and director of the Centre for Studies on Media and Culture (CEMESO). Her research focuses on children, media and culture, the creative industries and arts policy. She is president of the Flemish Regulator for the Media and chair of the Flemish expert centre Mediawijs.be.
Sofie Vandoninck started a PhD at the Institute for Media Studies (KU Leuven) 2011 on digital literacy and online coping strategies among vulnerable youth in Belgium. She is interested in the topic of the safer internet for children and young people. In 2013, she joined the Net Children Go Mobile network. She has a Master's degree in Communication Science and wrote her Master's thesis about the digital divide in Flanders.
Bieke Zaman is assistant professor in Human-Computer Interaction / Digital Humanities at Mintlab, part of the Institute of Media Studies (KU Leuven – iMinds), Belgium. Bieke has a background in communication science, and conducts research on the topics of Children, Digital Media & Design (e.g. parental mediation), and Games and Learning.
Canon Cultuurcel (onderwijs Vlaanderen): www.canoncultuurcel.be
Kind en Samenleving: www.k-s.be
Vlaamse Regulator voor de Media (VRM): www.vlaamseregulatormedia.be
Onderzoeks- en informatiecentrum van de verbruikersorganisaties (OIVO): ww.oivo.be.
Departement Cultuur, Jeugd, Sport en Media (Vlaamse overheid): www.cjsm.vlaanderen.be
Vlaams Informatiepunt Jeugd: www.vipjeugd.be
Steunpunt Jeugd: www.steunpuntjeugd.be
Centrum voor Leerlingenbegeleiding (CLB): www.ond.vlaanderen.be/clb/
Internet Service Providers Association (Belgium): www.ispa.be
Vlaamse Radio en Televisie (VRT) en Ketnet: www.vrt.be www.ketnet.be
Centrum voor Mediacultuur en communicatietechnologie (OE)
OE Centr. Mediacult.& Comm.technologie, Parkstraat 45 - bus
3603, 3000 Leuven, België
Telephone:+32 16 323620 or +32 16 323220
Fax: +32 16 323312