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Liberty Puerto Rico celebrates global Safer Internet Day

By on February 6, 2018

SAN JUAN – As part of its social responsibility campaign, dubbed “Navega con seguridad” (“Surf safely”), telecom provider Liberty Puerto Rico was celebrating Safer Internet Day 2018 on the island for the 11th year in a row Tuesday.

Safer Internet Day is a global activity that raises awareness among children, young people, parents, teachers and the general public on the importance of internet safety and is held annually on Tuesday of the second week of February.

Initiated under the European Commission’s Safer Internet Programme 15 years ago and now continuing under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the day marks an annual opportunity to engage in making the internet a safer and better for young people.

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In addition to providing opportunities to discuss the rights and responsibilities of internet users, Safer Internet Day also invites the public to contribute solutions that make the web a safer place. This year’s theme, “Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you,” is being celebrated by more than 140 countries by organizing activities such as press conferences, school events and educational resource presentations on the subject.

Liberty’s campaign aims to raise awareness on how to use the internet responsibly and safely. It will rebroadcast a video it produced in partnership with the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Child Exploitation Investigative Unit.

The video delves into the risks of cyberbullying and exploitation, which children and teenagers are exposed to when navigating the internet without supervision and how they can protect themselves. ICE Special Agents Alek Pacheco and Reynaldo Medina generate a discussion on this subject in the video, providing information and tips for children and teenagers ages 9 to 14.

Interim ICE Director Orlando Báez, second from left, said the decline in child exploitation cases during fiscal year 2017 throughout the island can be attributed to joint efforts to educate children on online sexual predators. Naji Khoury, president and CEO of Liberty Puerto Rico, left, and Education Secretary Julia Keleher, far right, participated in the press conference. (Courtesy)

“When we produced this video with ICE last year, we knew that it would be a valuable tool to educate children and teenagers about the dangers of using the Internet without adult supervision,” Naji Khoury, president and CEO of Liberty Puerto Rico, said in a release. “Thanks to our alliance with ICE and the Department of Education, we have been able to take this message to the people that need to hear it the most. We will continue to provide this information through Navega con seguridad to continue helping the communities we serve.”

According to ICE, the agency registered a reduction of 17.3 percent in child exploitation cases during fiscal years 2016 and 2017, with an average of 62 cases compared to the 75 arrests that the agency made during a similar period during the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years.

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“All efforts, regardless of whether they come from the public or the private sector, are necessary if we want to stop and eradicate child exploitation in Puerto Rico,” Orlando Baez, interim director of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations Office (ICE HSI), said in the release.

Liberty provides sessions for teachers from the department’s health division and Retention Attention Unit, which works with high-risk schools and develops plans to combat bullying together with social workers, professional counselors and psychologists.

“As part of that process, we will be offering orientations to all on how to use the video and that way train young promoters, so they can carry the message of child cyberbullying prevention through peer strategies,” Education Secretary Julia Keleher adds in a release.

The video will air on CableVisión (channels 10 and 210 [high definition]) from Feb. 6 to Feb. 20 at 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. It will also be broadcast on Liberty’s channels 85 and 285 (HD) at 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The video can seen here, Navega con seguridad’s microsite, which has more information on the campaign.

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