Principles for Online Youth Information
Internet is a powerful source of information and communication, as well as an integrated part of the social environment of young people. Provision of generalist Youth Information and Counselling online, as well as orientation on the Internet are new tasks, which are complementary to existing Youth Information work.
In addition to the role of Youth Information, helping young people find the right information and take their own decisions, Online Youth Information supports them to maximise the benefits of the Internet and minimise its potential risks.
Online Youth Information is an integral part of Youth Information work and thus, shall comply to all the principles formulated in the European Youth Information Charter. As Online Youth Information has some specific characteristics, an additional set of guidelines is needed.
In order to ensure the quality of provided Online Youth Information services and to guarantee their added value and trustworthiness ERYICA, the European Youth Information and Counselling Agency adopted the following principles.
- Online Youth Information shall be accurate, up to date and verified. The date when it was produced or updated shall be clearly mentioned.
- The content shall be based on the needs of young people. Those needs have to be identified and evaluated in an ongoing process.
- The content shall be a selection of relevant, free of charge information that provides an overview of different options available. The applied selection criteria must be made public and understandable.
- Online Youth Information shall be understandable for young people and presented in an attractive way for them.
- Online Youth Information services shall be operable for all, especially taking into account users and groups with specific needs.
- When young people have the opportunity to ask a question online it shall be clear within which time limit they will receive an answer. The answer shall be tailor-made and it shall be clear who is providing it.
- When young people are included in producing content, the accuracy of the final content shall stay the responsibility of the youth information organisation.
- Encouraging young people to give feedback shall be an integrated part of the ongoing development of Online Youth Information services. The feedback shall be easy to submit. It must be then evaluated and used to adjust the content. Young people shall be made aware of how their feedback has impacted on the services.
- The author and the purpose of the Online Youth Information shall be clear and visible. If content of third parties is used, the source is clearly indicated.
- It must be clear to the users who the providers of the Youth Information service are and what their motivation is. Full contact information should be clearly displayed. Sources of financial support shall be transparently displayed.
- Online Youth Information services should provide methods and guidance which help young people increase their information literacy and online competences.
- Online Youth Information services shall inform and guide young people on how to act in a safe and responsible way in online environments.
- Online Youth Information services shall be a safe environment for young people.
- Online Youth Information respects and protects the privacy of the users and allows them to modify or delete their own published private data.
- Online Youth Information services respect the copyright of third parties and are aware of their own.
- Youth Information workers shall be competent on the use of online tools and have information literacy skills. They shall be aware of new developments, relevant law and keep themselves informed about trends and new online practices among young people.