Back Council of Europe celebrates Safer Internet Day 2023

Council of Europe celebrates Safer Internet Day 2023

For the 8th consecutive year, the Council of Europe is supporting the Safer Internet Day Campaign and is joining forces with numerous stakeholders to work together for a better and safer internet for all, and especially for children and young people.

Safeguarding and promoting the rights of the child in the digital environment and keeping them safe online are at the heart of the Council of Europe’s work. The right to access to and safe use of technologies remains one of the key priorities in the Council of Europe’s current Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2022–2027) and is addressed through its standard-setting, monitoring and co-operation activities.

The Council of Europe is strongly committed to fighting sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children online, through the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Convention), as well as bilateral and regional projects. State Parties to this Convention commit to criminalise any type of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse against children, online and offline, and the fact of knowingly accessing online child sexual abuse material.

The 2nd monitoring round of the Committee of the Parties to the Lanzarote Convention (Lanzarote Committee) focused on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse facilitated by information and communication technologies (ICTs) – Addressing the challenges raised by child self-generated sexual images and/or videos. The corresponding Implementation Report adopted in March 2022 contains specific recommendations and promising practices which guide state Parties in better aligning their legislative and policy framework and practice with the requirements of the Lanzarote Convention, thus enhancing effective protection of children against ICTs facilitated sexual abuse.

This year the Council of Europe celebrates the Safer Internet Day by highlighting and disseminating these specific recommendations and promising practices of the Lanzarote Committee as widely as possible. Furthermore, following the European Commission’s proposal for a temporary derogation to provisions in the e-Privacy Directive to allow for the processing of personal and other data for the purpose of combating child sexual abuse online, the Lanzarote Committee commissioned the preparation of the Report “Respecting human rights and the rule of law when using automated technology to detect online child sexual exploitation and abuse”. This report, prepared by independent experts, provides in-depth expertise on appropriate solutions to reconcile various human rights at stake while integrating safeguards in actions carried out in the public interest.

In addition, the outcome report of a workshop of experts from various backgrounds gathered to analyse specific issues raised by the EU’s proposal for a new Regulation laying down the rules to prevent and combat child sexual abuse was presented at the 37th plenary meeting of the Lanzarote Committee (31 January – 2 February 2023).  An exchange of views on the main elements of the proposal took also place with a representative of the European Commission.

Through its country specific follow-up projects in Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, and new projects in Georgia and Finland on “Protecting Children against violence and sexual exploitation and abuse, including in the digital environment” and “Ensuring child-friendly justice through the effective operation of the Barnahus-units in Finland”, the Council of Europe is conducting a series of actions to raise awareness on the risks of online child sexual exploitation and abuse, and promoting digital literacy and safe use of internet for children in these countries.

Last but not least, the Council of Europe continues to translate and disseminate as widely as possible some of its latest materials and tools for policy makers, professionals working for and with children, parents, caregivers and children in order to raise awareness on children’s rights in the digital environment and online safety.

More information about the Council of Europe’s work and resources:

 Children’s rights in the digital environment

 Council of Europe’s profile on Safer Internet Day



Strasbourg 7 February 2023
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