European Forum on Harmful and Illegal Cyber Content:
Self-Regulation, User Protection and Media Competence

Strasbourg, 28 November 2001
Human Rights Building

The Council of Europe organised on 28 November 2001 in Strasbourg a European Forum on harmful and illegal cyber content. It brought together renowned experts in the field of Internet regulation and the fight against illegal content on the World Wide Web.

The Forum analysed different ways of regulating the Internet, in particular self-regulation by the industry and co-regulation, whereby public authorities and the private sector co-operate. The Forum also looked at how users of the Internet can be empowered to protect themselves and their children against harmful and illegal content.

Through the organisation of the Forum, the Council of Europe aimed to provide an operational follow-up to its Recommendation (2001) 8 on self-regulation concerning cyber content, take stock of existing experiences and initiatives at the European and international levels, bring together different actors in the field with a view to initiating partnerships and co-operation, and identify the needs for possible further initiatives in this area.

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Arrival and registration




Pierre-Henri Imbert, Director General of Human Rights, Council of Europe


Marc Verwilghen, Minister for Justice of Belgium, President of the EU Council of Ministers for Justice, Brussels

The Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport of the United Kingdom, London

Chairperson of the Forum

Carolyn Morrison, Chairperson of the CDMM 1, Head of International Broadcasting,Department for Culture, Media and Sport, London

Keynote speech

Jean-François Abramatic, Chairman, World Wide Web Consortium, Paris

The Council of Europe Recommendation on self-regulation concerning cyber content

Andrea Millwood Hargrave, Research Director, Broadcasting Standards Commission, London


Coffee break



GROUP 1: Co-operative forms of regulating the Internet

Chair: Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, President, Orientation Council, Forum on Internet Rights, Paris


Antonio Amendola, Assistant to the President, Communications Agency, Naples, Italy

Ruth Dixon, Deputy Chief Executive, Internet Watch Foundation, Oakington, UK

Sabine Frank, Secretary General, Voluntary Self-control of Multimedia Service Providers, Berlin

Marc Knobel, Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Paris

GROUP 2: User empowerment and media competence: Combining protection and education

Chair: Sonia Livingstone, Professor of Social Psychology, London School of Economics and Political Science, London


Parry Aftab, Executive Director, Cyberangels, New York

Jan d’Arcy, Co-Director, Media Awareness Network, Ottawa

John Carr, NCH Action for Children, London

Friedemann Schindler,, Mainz, Germany


Lunch break


WORKING GROUPS (continued)

Discussion of possible future national initiatives by participants:

Hotlines, Internet industry associations, user associations, education and awareness


Coffee break



Reports by the Chairpersons of the Working Groups

Discussion with all panellists

General report

Beth Simone Noveck, Director of International Programmes, Information Society Project, Yale Law School


Reception at the Restaurant in the Human Rights Building hosted by the Director General of Human Rights

1 The intergovernmental Steering Committee on the Mass Media of the Council of Europe.