Building a Europe for and with children



The 28 September 2009, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a recommendation on the promotion of Internet and online media services appropriate for minors.


Internet: managing risks and opportunities


This recommendation, coming on the back of a report by PACE member Mr Kozma, notes the potential of the internet to increase opportunities for information, communication, creativity, education, social interaction and civic participation. On the other hand, the recommendation also calls on the Council of Europe, on Internet Service Providers and other private-sector actors, on parents, teachers and children as well as civil society to work together to help ensure that minors enjoying these new opportunities, are protected from harmful content such as child pornographic material or violent video games, from aggressive commercial practices and from gender stereotypes.


What can be done by whom?


In order to protect childrenís rights online, the recommendation calls on states to establish national institutions for the cooperation between all relevant actors on these matters. While noting that security systems can never replace accessible and adequate education, the recommendations asks states to raise awareness about the measures which parents can undertake in order to overcome these dangers for example through use of filters and restricted computer networks. Finally it calls on those states who have not yet ratified the Council of Europe Cyberspace Convention to do so.


The recommendation asks the Council of Europe to establish closer cooperation with the EU Intersafe programme, to analyse the potential psychological risks of excessive internet and online media use by minors, to consider drawing up legal standards for the regulation of online gambling and finally, to define the legal responsibility of ISPs in relation to illegal content, if necessary through the drafting of a new protocol to the Cybercrime convention.


Finally, the recommendation calls upon the Council of Europe to develop guidelines for education on media literacy and encourages the online media industry to develop and apply codes of conduct with regard to privacy protection and content potentially harmful to minors.


Click here to read the full Recommendation

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