Friday, 2 February 2018

Clare students to brief Oireachtas Committee on cyber safety

Clare Comhairle na nÓg will make a presentation to the Oireachtas Committee for Youth Affairs next Wednesday morning (7thFebruary) on a campaign they have developed to educate teenagers on cyber safety and the dangers of sexting.

The group, which comprises young people (13 to 18 year olds) from all over Clare, last year hosted a “Sexting Peer Education Workshop”. The workshop is based on an initiative by the Icelandic-based Youth Council of Samfés which participated in an exchange with Clare Comhairle na nÓg in 2016 and 2017.

Next week’s presentation follows new research showing that almost half of Irish teenagers in their final year at school say they have participated in sexting, which is defined as the sharing of sexual text, video, and photographic content using phone, social networks, apps and other technologies.  The study shows that sexting activity increased progressively through each year of second-level education.

Clare Comhairle na nÓg also will be making a presentation to members of the Oireachtas Committee on the outcome of a Cyber Safety Workshop for students which was designed by McAfee, facilitated by Clare Youth Service and funded by Clare Local Development Company in 2016 and 2017. 752 young people, mainly first year students, took part in the programme in schools across Clare.

Comhairle na nÓg, which is part of a programme being run by the Office of Department of Children and Youth Affairs, is a local forum for young people where they can discuss local and national issues of relevance to them.  The ‘Youth Council’, which meets throughout the year, gives members the opportunity to raise matters that concern them with the relevant authorities and agencies, in particular to liaise and consult with Clare County Council, the H.S.E. and others, on issues of relevance to young people.