Companies have the opportunity and the responsibility to raise awareness about how their business, services and products affect children and children’s rights. This is especially important when it comes to services that are used by children and have a significant impact on them. Around one third of the world’s internet users are children under the age of 18. It is therefore very important to Telia to raise awareness of how to protect and empower children online.

We have chosen to approach a number of stakeholders to increase awareness of children’s rights in relation to our services. Our YOUNITE volunteers meet children in schools for workshops about life online. We educate our employees on children’s rights and how to talk to children about their life online. We inform our customers who are also parents about online challenges and opportunities for children. We discuss children’s rights with industry peers and share best practices, and we use our communication strength to inform the public about relevant issues regarding children online.

The biggest challenge for a company when it comes to increasing awareness is to define how the awareness is relevant for its stakeholder and how the stakeholder can connect that to the company’s own operations.

Through our awareness-raising activities we work on the 1st and 10th principles of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles.

Digiboom: a campaign to raise public awareness

Telia Finland and Save the Children Finland were inspired by Finland’s centenary to create the year-long project Digiboom, to raise awareness about children’s rights.

The campaign focused on the following areas:

  • Right to identity and privacy
  • Right to information and participation 
  • Right to freedom of expression, leisure and play 
  • Right to be safe and protected from all forms of violence

Thousands of children, young people and parents participated in a number of events throughout the year. 

“Digital Heroes”, a social media campaign was created to start a debate about online opportunities. Five young digitalents were picked, who have been active online and chasing their dreams using digital tools. A series of videos and a material was produced for schools, with focus on opportunities and encouragement of young people to develop and use their digital skills.

Materials produced during the year:

  • General training course about children’s rights (specifically for Telia Finland’s employees)
  • Digiheroes – stories about online opportunities and success (see here)
  • Digiboom webpage – all the campaign information in one place, and hundreds of stories about children’s online life (now closed, you can find important information here)
  • Vanhemapain opas – information package for parents about how to support children’s online life and help them find opportunities
  • Give-aways to spread the message at the various events, such as #thisisfinland – emoji temporary tattoos that were fun and attractive for young people to wear and an easy way to spread the message about our campaign
  • Petition - read more about the Petition here

Greatest Courage: campaign against cyberbullying

27% of Estonian students have experienced cyberbullying and 17% have been the bullies themselves (Estonian Union of Child Welfare). In collaboration with Estonian Union of Child Welfare, Telia Estonia launched a campaign against cyberbullying with the message “Greatest courage” - to raise awareness of the problem.

  •  Number of contacts to the Child Helpline grew by 260% during the campaign period (the goal was 50%). Most of these contacts were related to cyberbullying
  • Nearly 100 instances of coverage of the topic in Estonian media
  • Special card game about healthy internet behaviour was developed with Estonian Union of Child Welfare and sent to all Estonian schools
  • As a result of the Campaign 71% of schoolkids spoke about cyberbullying with their parents, friends or teachers, and began to think about the topic (Vizeum post campaign survey)
  • Nearly 100 Telia employees went as volunteers to Estonian schools to talk about cyberbullying
  • Campaign received the grand prix in Estonia’s biggest marketing award competition “Turundustegu 2018” in media and 1st place in the brand activation category
  • Telia Estonia continues the campaign in autumn 2018 and 2019 with the aim of building societal consensus regarding healthy internet culture.


Awareness-building school workshops

Through Children’s Advisory Panel we reach at least 700 children every year with a concept to increase their awareness about various aspects of life online.

The aim with the workshop is to engage children to raise their awareness, not to educate them. The children learn by participating, creating and discussing. It is a method where we gather insights from the children and the children learn at the same time.

Based on some of these insights, we have created workshop concepts that can be used by schools or other actors to continue to build awareness among children.

Find a school workshop here

Connecting with the Digitalist network

We arranged a pop-up breakfast meeting for the Digitalist network, a large digitalisation community in Finland. The aim was to share knowledge about children’s rights to digitalists and encourage them to make a positive change when developing online services, apps and digital products. The event was successful with 80 people participating from different organizations.

Event agenda:

  • Introduction and welcome (Telia Finland Sustainability Officer and Digitalist Network founder)
  • Privacy, inclusion, security - three issues of child rights in digital media (Save the Children Specialist)
  • Examples of best practise in the industry: Heimo, Rovio and Momio (Case presentations)
  • Rules - The Privacy Policy becomes what the young people are thinking about? (Federation of child welfare researchers)

See the whole Digitalist Network event here

Reaching out to parents

Parents and caregivers play a key role in securing children’s rights online but unfortunately, they may lack the necessary information and knowledge to do so effectively. Therefore, Telia is working to raise awareness among parents in several ways: online, in schools and in Telia shops.

In Finland, we have created an information package for parents about how to support and protect children online, in collaboration with Save the Children.

We also provide a basic training course and information materials (a powerpoint presentation and training handbook) to our employees. This is so that any employee who wants to can educate parents in this subject at parents’ meetings in schools. 

Basic rules for parents: 

  • The key to open interaction: talk, ask and be interested. 
  • Pay attention to the quality not the time used online. 
  • Remember, kids learn by doing, and both positive and negative lessons are important. Don’t panic, be supportive and present! 

Telia Finland also have a section for parents on the website (in Finnish) about children’s rights and what they mean online. 

The information package has also been printed and distributed in Telia’s shops in Estonia. In Sweden it has been used as information material for Telia’s employees and in shops. The English version is published on our website.

We work with information for parents in a number of ways across the Nordic and Baltic countries.

Joining forces with other companies against sexual abuse

We invited a number of key Swedish B2B customers to a lunch seminar in connection with an external conference on the topic of child sexual abuse. As an introduction we briefly talked about Telia’s sustainability focus, including how we work to support the SDGs and children’s rights.

All participants shared their own practices and discussed ways forward for taking responsibility for protecting children from sexual abuse.

Employee training in child safety online

In May 2018, 700 Telia employees in Sweden accepted the YOUNITE challenge of educating themselves on the subject of children’s safety online, in order to become #Nätsmart (Netsmart). 

The ambition was to become Sweden’s largest team of ambassadors for children’s safety online. Their education was followed by initiatives to spread the word to other adults, including customers who are parents. 

We conduct training for employees in various ways in many of our operations in the Nordic and Baltic countries.

Reaching out to the neighborhood

More than Telia 500 employees in Lithuania joined the YOUNITE movement to create safe neighborhoods for kids online. The project took place in Telia’s offices and neighborhoods and schools in Lithuania. 13 000 safety maps, hundreds of posters and thousands of stickers were distributed to kids and used as playful education materials to ensure that kids are aware of online dangers and know how to deal with them.

The project complements another strong initiative – Augu internete (Growing online) that is aimed at making children feel safe online by educating children, parents and teachers.

As a new school year begins, this project will cover even more online topics using a wider range of channels and gameification.