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Home : Office of the Secretary-General : Corporate Strategy Division : Global Cybersecurity Agenda : COP

COP aims to tackle cybersecurity holistically, addressing legal, technical, organizational

and procedural issues as well as capacity building and international cooperation.


Our children are our future. This universal fact, coupled with young people’s particular

vulnerability in an online environment, made a specialized initiative within the larger GCA framework a necessity.


The legal, technical and institutional challenges posed by the issue of cybersecurity are global and far-reaching and can only be addressed through a coherent strategy taking into account the role of different stakeholders and existing initiatives, within a framework of an international collaborative network.  

COP has been established as an international collaborative network for action to promote the online protection of children worldwide by providing guidance on safe online behaviour in conjunction with other UN agencies and partners.

Key Objectives of COP:

Identify risks and vulnerabilities to children in cyberspace

Create awareness

Develop practical tools to help minimize risk

Share knowledge and experience


Guidelines for Children

Guidelines for Parents, Guardians and Educators                                                           

Guidelines for Industry                                                                                                                

Guidelines for Policy Makers                                                                                                            


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Links to projects and initiatives around child online protection:

Policy: Projects and initiatives connected to policy issues around child online protection
Industry: Projects and initiatives oriented around industry issues on child online protection
Educators: Projects and initiatives on child online protection designed with education in mind
Children: Projects and initiatives on child online protection designed with young people as a main audience

At ITU's annual
World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) 2009, ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun Touré announced a year-long Call to Action.

ITU, Member States, and Partners Working Together to Improve the Protection of Children Online download

The contribution from COP partners
click here


COP has been established as an international collaborative network for action to promote the online protection of children worldwide by providing guidance on safe online behaviour in conjunction with other UN agencies and partners.

ITU is working with the following organizations on COP and would like to thank them for their support:

International Organizations

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI)
UNIDIR_Logo EU-Commission_Logo Interpol_Logo
United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)

European Commission - Safer Internet Programme
International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol)
ENISA_logo Insafe_logo
European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA)
Insafe Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO)

Civil Society


Advanced Development for Africa (ADA) Child Helpline International (CHI) Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet Safety


The e-Safety Project European Broadcasting Union (EBU) ECPAT International


eWWG_Logo eNASCO_Logo FOSI_Logo
eWWG European NGO Alliance for Child Safety Online (eNASCO) Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI)


Girl Scouts of America iKeepSafe International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyberthreats


ICMEC_Logo Save-the-Children_Logo 
International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children Inhope


Save the Children
E-crime expert


WISE KIDS Kids and Media



African Child Online Protection Education & Awareness Centre Together against Cybercrime
Omar Dengo Foundation EC-Council Internet Watch Foundation (IWF)


Common Sense Media
Institute of Internet Governance & Law, BUPT CTIC Technology Center Common and sense

Youth Crime Watch of Nigeria  Rights of Young Foundation GKP Foundation
Cybervoluntarios Paniamor Foundation DISC FOUNDATION
Halley Movement



Private Sector


GSM Association Optenet Microsoft


Telecom-Italia_Logo Telefonica_Logo
Telecom Italia




Vodafone Group

Mahindra Special Services Group


IAHS Academy


Trend Micro


The Cyber Guargian

ABI Research



On 17 November 2010, the Child Online Protection (COP) Global Initiative was launched by the new Patron of COP, H.E. Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica, and ITU Secretary- General, Hamadoun Touré in San José, Costa Rica.

The COP Global Initiative aims to shift COP Guidelines, developed by ITU and partners from industry, civil society, governments, UN agencies and other stakeholders, into concrete activities by leveraging the active support from COP members.

The strategies for achieving these guidelines span five main areas: i) legal measures; ii) technical and procedural measures; iii) organizational structures; iv) capacity building; and v) international cooperation. ITU will work with partners to develop cybersecurity strategies across these areas, in order to deliver significant national and societal benefits.

In particular, it is designed to achieve the development of industry codes of conduct; the establishment of national hotlines; ; the development of national roadmaps and legislative toolkits; provide training for parents, guardians and educators; and harnessing the power of multistakeholder collaboration through resources such as an online platform for sharing advice and information.

Through this COP Global Initiative, ITU is taking the next steps to develop a cybersecurity strategy for child online safety, in order to deliver significant national benefits by creating a more secure and safer online experience for children worldwide...

Joint letter signed by the ITU SG and the new Patron of COP

Costa Rica President advocates Child Online Protection (COP)

President Laura Chinchilla’s visit to ITU highlights role as COP Patron

ITU press release  17November 2010 [English]

Costa-Rican press release 17November 2010 [spanish]


  • During the BYND2015 Youth Summit in Costa Rica, Wise Kids facilitated a Welsh hub discussing issues of cyberbullying, online grooming, self-exposure, sexting and reputation.

  • Invitation for a consultation by ITU and UNICEF on the Guidelines for Industry on Child Online Protection. The draft Guidelines for Industry on Child Online Protection have been prepared in the context of the International Telecommunication Union’s Child Online Protection (ITU COP) initiative, through an initial consultation of the ITU COP members, and apply to the safety of children when using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). The draft document is now open to a broader consultation until 20 December 2013.

  • Doctor Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan, First Lady of Nigeria, has been appointed a ITU COP Champion.

  • Together with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), ITU created a template for country assessment of online child sexual abuse content (images and video) and to propose mechanisms for its elimination. To test the efficacy of the template and approach, IWF run a pilot programme in Uganda earlier in June 2013

  • Congratulations to the ITU COP Special Envoy, Deborah Taylor Tate, which is receiving the Diversity Advocate Award at the 29th Annual Walter Kaitz Foundation Fundraising Dinner on September 12, 2012.

  • The ITU COP Special Envoy, Ms Deborah Taylor Tate, was awarded the 2012 Advocacy Award in Washington DC for "leadership and dedication to the public interest and championship of initiatives benefitting women and girls".

  • ITU is inviting the international community to join the world’s first Global Cyberlympics, a nonprofit event that is fostering an environment that creates child online protection through education.

  • The President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla Miranda reaffirmed her role as patron of ITU’s Child Online Protection initiative while visiting ITU headquarters in Geneva in May 2012.

  • Ms. Deborah Taylor Tate, the former US Commissioner and 2009 WITSD Laureate on COP, has been nominated the first ITU COP Special Envoy.  

  • Council Working Group on Child Online Protection

  • Res. 179, Guadalajara 2010: At the Plenipotentiary Conference in October 2010, ITU Member States adopted a new Resolution concerning ITU’s Role in Child Online Protection.  

  • ITU is looking for new partners and sponsors to join COP Global Initiative as collaborative partners.  

  • The new COP Global Initiative was launched by the new Patron of COP, H.E. Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica, and the ITU Secretary-General, in November 2010  

  • ITU is pleased to announce that H.E. Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica, accepted her role as Patron of ITU’s COP.

  • Standards need to protect children online: ITU Standardization experts are starting to examine security-related guidelines/standards on child online protection issues.

  • In 2013, ITU signed an important agreement with Trend Micro with the aim to establish a framework for collaboration in line with the mutual goal of creating a more secure and safer information society. As a follow up, recently in March 2014, Trend Micro made available two e- guides to be distributed by ITU to its member states and partners.

    • TrendMicro E-Guide “The Who, What, Why and How of Mobile Privacy” Tablets and mobile phones have tremendously become a huge part of our normal day-to-day activities. Access to user information both for legitimate and malicious purposes is no longer uncommon in the age of mobilization, since people do just about everything using a mobile device. In this regard, the TrendMicro E-Guide “The Who, What, Why and How of Mobile Privacy” aims at giving suggestions and guidelines on how to protect privacy from mobile threats.

    • TrendMicro E-Guide “How To Protect Data In Mobile Devices” The E-Guide “How To Protect Data In Mobile Devices” highlights the importance of protecting data in mobile devices. Many times, people do not realize how much data is in their mobile device. Ordinary practices such as sending email, accessing social media, and banking online can encourage criminals to steal someone’s identity in order to access information related to credit card numbers, addresses, and contact details, among others. The Guide will recommend several actions that should be taken into consideration to ensure data protection in mobile devices.

  • Costa Rica and Child Online Protection: Case Study

  • UNICEF Report: Child Safety Online: Global challenges and strategies.

  • GSMA Report: Utilización de los teléfonos móviles por los niños — Estudio comparativo internacional 2011

  • Child Online Protection Statistical Framework and Indicators: In November 2010, ITU released a report which is the world’s first attempt to provide the overall statistical framework related to the measurement of child online protection with a particular emphasis on measures that are suitable for international comparison.

  • COP Survey 2010 Result: Within the COP Initiative, ITU developed and distributed a questionnaire which addressed a broad range of issues connected to policy and practice in the field of online child safety. As of 15 December 2010, 71 Member States have completed the Survey.





Council Working Group on Child Online Protection, International Telecommunication Union, Geneva, 21 February 2014

Safer Internet Day, International Telecommunication Union, Geneva, 11 February 2014

Africa Child Online Protection (ACOP) Summit, Kampala, Uganda. Please note that the initial dates have been postponed. New dates will be announced shortly.


Council Working Group on Child Online Protection, International Telecommunication Union, Geneva, 19 October 2013

Global Youth Summit: BYND 2013, 9-11 September 2013, Costa Rica

Visit of the COP Champion, Doctor Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan, First Lay of Nigeria, ITU Headquarters, Geneva, 22 July 2013

WSIS Forum 2013, International Telecommunication Union, 13-17 May 2013, Switzerland


Commonwealth Cybersecurity Forum, 22 – 26 April 2013, Cameroon


Council Working Group on Child Online Protection, International Telecommunication Union, Geneva, 1 February 2013

Locking the Digital Door - Protecting the Privacy of Children Online, Dubai, 17 October 2012

Fighting Child Pornography on the Internet, 29-30 November 2012, Madrid Spain


Visit of the COP Patron, H.E. Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica, ITU Headquarters, Geneva, 30 May 2012


The 2012 European Child Safety Online Conference, Forum Europe, Brussels, 15 November 2012


Council Working Group on Child Online Protection, International Telecommunication Union, Geneva, 19 June 2012


Workshop on the legal aspects of COP, ITU Arab Regional Office, Algeria, 24-25 June 2012


COP Partners meeting, WSIS Forum 2012, International Labour Organization, 14 May 2012


COP Awareness Programme, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darulssalam, 23-24 April 2012


Roundtable on Cooperate. Secure. Protect, Connect Arab 2012, Doha, 5-7 March 2012

Mobile World Congress,
Fira Montjuïc, Barcelona 27 Feb – 1 March 2012

  Safer Internet Day:
11 February  2014

Message from ITU Secretary-General

UNICEF: A better Internet - The choice is in your hands

Message from ITU Special Envoy


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Contact for this page : Corporate Strategy Division
Updated : 2014-04-02