Promoting universal access to digital
technologies for all children everywhere, while protecting them from
the dangers present in cyberspace, is one of the key challenges of
As parents and educators, political
leaders and responsible adults, we want children to navigate the
oceans of information and knowledge, protected by appropriate
legislation, by preventive monitoring tools, and by education based
on sound values and personal responsibility.
The need to improve online safety for
the world’s children is one area about which there is no doubt.
Hence, the new phase of concrete activities, which ITU announced for
the global Child Online Protection initiative in November 2010 in San
José, Costa Rica, aims to identify the risks of cyberspace for the
world’s children, improve awareness of them, facilitate exchanges
of experience, and design effective protection tools.
In Costa Rica, a solid coalition has
been created of governmental agencies, private companies and civil
society bodies with experience of child protection. In that context,
the National Online Security Commission has been set up to coordinate
efforts pertaining to child protection and the Government’s Digital
This has led, as part of the Digital
Agenda, to the setting up of the National Online Security Programme,
under the leadership of the Ministry of Science and Technology. The
programme is geared towards prevention, emphasizing the development
of institutional and social capacity, and safe empowerment of
citizens. Many teachers, students and parents have been given
training on online safety and responsible Internet use.
To complement these preventive
measures, work is going ahead on a draft law amending the Penal Code
with a view to protecting children from violence and abuse involving
information and communication technologies.
Costa Rica has set a target of
universal access to digital technologies for all students in the
country, and the process will also involve efforts to promote their
safety and protection online. In these areas, prompt action is
(Source: ITU News Magazine)