For the 5th consecutive year, the Council of Europe is supporting the Safer Internet Day Campaign.
Safer Internet Day (SID) is organised by the joint Insafe/INHOPE network, with the support of the European Commission, each February to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology, especially among children and young people. Each year, millions of people unite to inspire positive changes online, to raise awareness of online safety issues, and participate in events and activities right across the globe.
In this context, the Council of Europe celebrates this year's Safer Internet Day by introducing the newly adopted Recommendation CM/Rec(2018)7 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on Guidelines to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of the child in the digital environment, which provides comprehensive guidelines for action by European authorities. It is focused on how to better protect and empower children as rights-holders in a digital world. Many different language versions are now available.
Other important instruments and tools are also highlighted, such as the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Convention), where States signing up to this Convention commit to criminalise the actions of adults who use the internet in order to arrange a meeting and engage in sexual activity with a child. The Convention also criminalises all actions related to the exploitation of children through pornography, including the fact of knowingly accessing online child abuse material.
Parents and carers can find useful information in the guide "Parenting in the Digital Age" (and its six video tutorials) targeting five online risks of a sexual nature ("sextortion", "sexting", sex-chatting, grooming and sexualised images used in revenge - "revenge porn").
Families, educators, policy makers and young people themselves can consult the multitude of tips and practical advice set out in the "Internet Literacy Handbook" helping them to navigate securely in, and seize the opportunities of the complex online world and of the Digital Citizenship Education Project.
Younger children can learn the basic internet safety rules and become digital citizens with the online game "Through the Wild Web Woods" and its accompanying Teachers' Manual, both of which are available in almost all European languages. A brand new app for children on using the internet will be made available for download on phones and tablets in 2019: for a sneak peek see here.
The Council of Europe "Guide on human rights for internet users" sets out what human rights and freedoms mean in practice in the context of the internet, including for children and young people.