The COP Guidelines for policy-makers offer national governments and policy-makers a user-friendly and flexible framework that supports the development of targeted and effective measures for child online protection at the national level.
The Guidelines for policy-makers on Child Online Protection aim at supporting the creation of a safe and empowering online environment for children.
Policy-makers play a key role in ensuring children’s safety and well-being online and offline.
Child online protection is a global challenge and requires a global approach based on harmonized and inclusive national strategies on COP.
The Guidelines for policy-makers propose concrete recommendations on how to develop a national strategy on COP, provided with tools to identify key stakeholders to engage with, coordination efforts and alignment with existing national frameworks and strategy plans.
Aiming at the development of better-targeted measures and more efficient actions on COP, the framework and recommendations provided here serve as a solid foundation on which to develop inclusive, multi-stakeholder national strategies, including through open consultations and dialogues with children.
Defining key risks and harms for children online, including privacy issues, cyberbullying, grooming and sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA), the Guidelines further dedicate special attention to the impact of new and emerging technologies on children.
In addition, while addressing the importance of the situation faced by children with disabilities, for whom the online world offers a particularly crucial lifeline to full – and fulfilling – social participation; the consideration of the special needs of migrant children and other vulnerable groups has also been included.
Hear David Wright
Director of the UK Safer Internet Centres, giving you an overview of the new 2020 COP Guidelines for policy-makers. ITU released the re-thought and re-written Guidelines on Child Online Protection in June 2020.
1 in 3
of all Internet users today
of young people
are already online
1 in 5
children skipped school because of cyberbullying
More information on how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) are linked in the digital environment, click below.
See more on ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG
The global challenge of child online protection (COP) requires a global response, international cooperation, and national coordination. The COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated previously existing risks for children online.
In light of the growing challenge, ITU and partners have developed a Policy Brief on the importance of protection and empowerment of children online.
The first ITU Policy Brief on Child Online Protection, provides step by step guidance for policy-makers on how to develop and implement an inclusive multi-stakeholder national child online protection strategy.
It includes all relevant areas of intervention for policy actions: policy, regulatory and law enforcement frameworks, capacity building, education, social wellfare and engagement of relevant stakeholders including academia, the ICT industry, carers/educators, children, and social services.
A national checklist
Establish, mutatis mutandis, that any act against a child which is illegal in the real world is illegal online and that the online data protection and privacy rules for children are also adequate.
Actors and Stakeholders
Engage all the relevant national
stakeholders with an interest in online child protection
Universal and systematic child protection mechanisms are in place that oblige all those working with children to identify, respond and report incidents of abuse and harm that occur online.
Consider the regulatory policy development. This may include a self or co-regulatory policy development as well as a full regulatory framework.
Undertake research of the spectrum of national actors and stakeholders to determine their opinions, experiences, concerns and opportunities with regards to child online protection.
Organise national awareness campaigns to create the opportunity to universally highlight child online protection issues.
Reporting - illegal content
Ensure that a mechanism is established and is widely promoted to provide a readily understood means for reporting the variety of illegal content found on the Internet
Education Digital Literacy and Competency
Digital literacy features as part of any national school curriculum that is age appropriate and applicable to all children.
Tools, services and settings
Consider the role that device settings, technical tools (such as filtering programmes) and child protection apps and settings can play.
Reporting - User concerns
Industry should provide users with the opportunity to report concerns and issues to their users and respond accordingly
Develop Internet safety messages and materials which reflect local cultural norms and laws and ensure that these are efficiently distributed and appropriately presented to all key target audiences.