International standards are key for protecting children from the risks of the Internet

"International cooperation and legal framework are key conditions for protecting children from the risks of the Internet, and for effectively prosecuting offenders", said Cristina Schulman, a Council of Europe expert, at a workshop on the opening day of the Internet Governance Forum. Legislation is one important element of the Council of Europe comprehensive strategy, which also includes prevention and educational measures empowering children.

She mentioned the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime and the Convention on the Protection of children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse as two examples of international treaties that can significantly contribute to protect children.

The workshop "The Global Path for ensuring Online Child Protection and Safety: Effective Strategies and Specific Actions" offered a broad view of the work that various organisations are carrying out in this field.

Organised by the Council of Europe in cooperation with ECPAT and the Dynamic Coalition on Child Online Safety, the workshop focused on the strategies and specific actions in developing and promoting a safe and productive experience for children and youth online, and protecting them from exploitation and abuse.

In the sum up conclusions, the participants pointed out that child protec-tion is not a matter of lack of financial resources. It is about "putting the right people around the table" at national and international level so there is an effective cooperation between all involved stakeholders such as governments, law enforcement agencies, ISPs, educational organisations and NGOs.

Participants also concluded that raising awareness among children and young people about their own responsibility to protect themselves from the risks of the Internet should be a priority.

The workshop brought together representatives of ECPAT International, NACSO, the Council of Europe, Family Online Safety Institute, AT&T, the Symantec Corporation EMEA, Microsoft, Polycyb, Hector’s world, the Cyberpeace initiative and the UN Special Representative on Violence against Children.