Child Online Safety Toolkit

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With the expansion of affordable broadband to the developing world, there is an urgent need to put in place measures to minimise the risks and threats to these children, while also allowing them to capitalise on all the benefits of the digital world. Source: ITU Guidelines for policy-makers on Child Online Protection 202042

States parties should take into account the changing position of children and their agency in the modern world, children’s competence and understanding, which develop unevenly across areas of skill and activity, and the diverse nature of the risks involved. Those considerations must be balanced with the importance of exercising their rights in supported environments and the range of individual experiences and circumstances. States parties should ensure that digital service providers offer services that are appropriate for children’s evolving capacities. Source: General comment No. 25 (2021), para 2043

2. Promoting access, accessibility and inclusion: The rights of every child must be respected, protected and fulfilled in the digital environment. Innovations in digital technologies affect children’s lives and their rights in ways that are wideranging and interdependent, even where children do not themselves access the internet. Meaningful access to digital technologies can support children to realise the full range of their civil, political, cultural, economic and social rights. However, if digital inclusion is not achieved, existing inequalities are likely to increase, and new ones may arise. Source: General comment No. 25 (2021), para 444

Today, access to the online world is crucial for children to realise their rights and achieve their full potential. A child online safety policy must be inclusive, both in aspiration and in practice.45 This means that it must be adequately resourced and should build on existing best practice and frameworks, particularly in situations where resources are limited. Whether implementing child online safety policy means adapting existing legislation (e.g. regarding child protection, consumer protection or telecoms regulation) to the child online safety context or creating new bodies of law, it must promote inclusion and equality for all children, no matter who or where they are. States parties should promote technological innovations that meet the requirements of children with different types of disabilities and ensure that digital products and services are designed for universal accessibility so that they can be used by all children without exception and without the need for adaptation. Children with disabilities should be involved in the design and delivery of policies, products and services that affect the realization of their rights in the digital environment. Source: General comment No. 25 (2021), para 9146

42. 43. 44. 45.

Guidelines for policy-makers on Child Online Protection, International Telecommunication Union, 2020. General comment No. 25 (2021) on children’s rights in relation to the digital environment, UNCRC, 2021. General comment No. 25 (2021) on children’’s rights in relation to the digital environment, UNCRC, 2021. For example: children with disabilities or children from marginalised minority groups, street children, displaced children and migrant children, among others. This issue is further discussed in the cross-cutting themes below. More information on the model and the checklist can be found in ‘Voice’ is not enough: conceptualising Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Laura Lundy, 2013. 46. General comment No. 25 (2021) on children’s rights in relation to the digital environment, UNCRC, 2021.


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