top of page

Guidelines for

Policy- makers

  • YouTube
  • TikTok
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

The Child Online Protection 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.  


cop guidelines3.jpg

Full report

cop guidelines4.jpg

Executive summary


Policy Brief




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 child online protection.   


The Guidelines for policy-makers propose  concrete recommendations on how to develop a national strategy on child online protection, provided with tools to identify key stakeholders to engage with, coordination efforts and alignment with existing national frameworks and strategy plans.   


General recommendations 

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 Child Online Protection Guidelines for policy-makers. ITU released the re-thought and re-written Guidelines on Child Online Protection in June 2020.

David Wright message

1 in 3

 of all Internet users today

are children


of young people

are already online

1 in 5

children skipped school because of cyberbullying

Child Rights & the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) online

Children rights

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. 

Policy Brief

The global challenge of child online protection 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.


Screenshot 2021-11-04 at 09-36-01 ITU Featured Photos.png

A national checklist 

National checklist

Legal Framework 

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 

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. 

Regulatory Framework 

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.

National Awareness  

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



Educational Resources 

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. 

bottom of page