CHILD ONLINE SAFETY TOOLKIT
TEN POLICY ACTION AREAS
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States parties should take legislative and administrative measures to protect children from violence in the digital environment, including the regular review, updating and enforcement of robust legislative, regulatory and institutional frameworks that protect children from recognised and emerging risks of all forms of violence in the digital environment. Source: General comment No. 25 (2021), para 8274
Objective: To identify a lead ministry or agency to establish a National Child Online Safety Steering Committee and a stakeholder group of experts to cover all areas of the child online safety policy. To provide adequate resourcing, leadership, and institutional capacity to ensure effective action and cooperation.
Model policy text: To ensure a holistic approach to child online safety, each of the steps below is necessary. 1a. Affirm public commitment to child online safety at the highest level National leaders, including the Prime Minister or President, should commit to child online safety on both the national and international stages. 1b. Designate a ministry or agency to take the lead on developing the national child online safety policy Around the world, a range of different agencies and ministries lead on child online safety policy, and the choice of agency or ministry may affect the way a child online safety policy evolves and prioritises different aspects of child online safety. Child online safety is likely to sit across several ministries, but it is important that a lead agency owns the agenda. In some countries, child online safety policy is led by the ministry responsible for ICT, in others the ministry responsible for children and families, and yet in others, the Ministry of Justice. It may be that where existing groups are working on violence against children (VAC) or cybersecurity, they can be extended to include the necessary expertise in order to prevent siloed working. The lead agency may be chosen for its authority, expertise, resources, capacity or enthusiasm – but any lead agency will have to work with others. Whichever ministry takes the lead, it must commit to a holistic approach that reflects the overarching needs of child online safety. 1c. Publish a definitions and language manual The designated lead ministry should publish a full list of definitions and language that reflects definitions used in international best practice.75
General comment No. 25 (2021) on children’s rights in relation to the digital environment, UNCRC, 2021. See for example, Universal Terminology: Terminology Guidelines for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, ECPAT International, 2016.