Foto: Shutterstock / LeicherOliver

What is Barnevakten?

Barnevakten is a non-profit and independent foundation that conveys facts and provides advice regarding children’s and young people’s media use. 
Barnevakten’s vision 

Children and young people must use the media in a safe and conscious way. 

Our target groups 
  • Parents 
  • Children and adolescents  
  • Teachers and other adults who work with and for children and young people 
We collaborate with others 
  • Public authorities 
  • Private organizations 
  • Global media companies 
  • Kindergartens, primary schools and secondary schools 
  • Educational institutions 

The collaboration consists of lectures, exchange of experience, meeting activities, development of teaching resources and financial support for projects. 

Foto: Shutterstock / Dean Drobot. Bildet viser ei tenåringsjente liggende på sengen i et ganske mørkt rom, hunhar på seg hodetelfoner og skriver på en datamaskin..

Barnevakten’s values 

Barnevakten’s activities are based on fundamental values in Christian and humanist heritage and tradition, such as respect for human dignity and nature, freedom of spirit and charity, forgiveness, equality and respect. These are values that are also expressed in the Education Act and that govern kindergartens and schools in Norway. 

Barnevakten’s work is anchored in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

We rely on relevant research and at the same time have broad experience-based knowledge through our daily contact with children, young people and adults. 

We offer 
  • Lectures and courses on internet literacy and children’s digital lives 
  • Membership with tips and advice for parents and teachers 
  • Reviews of games, movies, apps and equipment from a parent’s perspective 
  • Articles with facts and advice 
What we do 

Participation: We convey information and encourage parents to take part in children’s and young people’s lives and everyday media life. 

Good frameworks: We help increase adults’ knowledge and ensure commitment to create good frameworks for children and young people’s media use.

Reflection: We engage children and young people in their own reflection with digital judgment. We focus on both opportunities and challenges, rights and obligations, and making smart choices that enable them to take care of themselves and others online as well. 

Recommends: We promote media products and content that helps contribute to a positive, developing, stimulating and engaging upbringing for children and young people. 

Protect: We help protect children and young people from burdensome media content and media use that can create insecurity, fear or be the basis for problematic behaviour, thoughts and feelings that have a negative effect on children’s upbringing and health. 

Coping with life and health: We participate in public debate, project work and research that seeks to foster a safe and health-promoting media in everyday life for children and young people. 

Here are our biggest partners in 2022: 
  • Ministry of Children and Families 
  • The Directorate for Children and Families 
  • The Directorate of Health 
  • The Directorate of Police 
  • The Directorate of Education 
  • The Directorate for Integration and Diversity 
  • Partnership against bullying 
  • Blue Cross 
  • Bergen municipality 
  • Lier municipality 
  • South East Police District 
  • FUG (parent organization in Norwegian schools) 
  •  The national group for health nurses 
  • Learn lab 
  • Google, Netflix, Meta, TikTok 
  • The Norwegian Media Authority 
  • Lightup Norway 
  • Youth and Leisure 

Barnevakten has given input to the government’s strategy «Right online» (in Norwegian: «Rett på nett») and also submits consultation responses to legislative changes that apply to children and the media. We also have given our advices to the government in hearings. 

Our income comes from: 
  • Lectures that we hold all over the country for pupils, teachers, parents and others. 
  • Membership fees from parents, schools and others. 
  • Financial support from the authorities for concrete projects. 
  • Collaborative projects with business and organizations. 
  • Gifts from private individuals 
  • In 2019, before the corona pandemic, we met 65,000 children, young people, parents and teachers at lectures. The number of lectures is on the rise again after the pandemic. 
  • In 2022, we met 33,600. 
  • 40 speakers cover the whole country in 2023. 
  • The website had a monthly user for over 65,000 in 2022. 
  • There are around 1,500 reviews available on the site in the areas of movies, games, apps and physical products. 
The beginning of Barnevakten in 2000 

It began with a grassroots uprising in the autumn of 2000. Roar Røyse, a committed TV watcher in Tønsberg, was upset that TV3 showed the series about the warrior princess Xena on Sunday afternoon in which heads were cut off and throats were slit. He contacted the TV channel and asked that the series be moved later in the evening, without being taken seriously. 

Then he went to the advertisers who reacted spontaneously and withdrew, and TV3 removed the series from the screen. The result created the idea of  Barnevakten, an organization that would work to protect children from media violence. Barnevakten is the Norwegian word for «babysitter». 

A Christian media organization took the challenge to finance the establishment. They worked in parallel to introduce a so-called watershed among Norwegian TV channels, that programs for adults should be broadcast after 9 pm in the evening. 

Barnevakten’s strategy from the start was also to focus on positive media content, have a clear vision, have parents as the most important target group, take the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as a starting point and seek dialogue with the producers of media content to make the actors become more aware of children and young people who use media. 

Later Barnevakten became an independent foundation. 

You find board members and more at our Norwegian «about us» page. 

Send us your questions, opinions and tips 

Phone: +47 53 00 95 30