This year, to mark World Telecommunication and Information Society Day,
Council adopted the theme: “Protecting children in cyberspace”.
WSIS, ITU was entrusted by leaders of the international community with
Line C5: “building confidence and security in the use of ICTs”. The WSIS
outcomes also specifically recognized the needs of children and young people and
their protection in cyberspace. The
Tunis Commitment recognized “the role of
information and communication technologies (ICT) in the protection of children
and in enhancing the development of children” as well as the need to “strengthen
action to protect children from abuse and defend their rights in the context of ICT”.
Online Protection (COP) initiative is in line with its mandate to establish
the foundations for a safe and secure cyberworld for future generations. The
need for COP is clear. A decade ago, there were just 182 million people using
the Internet globally — and almost all of them lived in the developed world. By
early 2009, however, there were over 1.5 billion Internet users worldwide, and
more than 400 million of them had access to broadband. With over 600 million
users in Asia, 130 million in Latin America and the Caribbean, and 50 million in
Africa, the Internet is a growing common resource — vastly increasing the
dangers online, especially for children.
According to recent
surveys, over 60 per cent of children and teenagers talk in chat rooms on a
daily basis. Three in four children online are willing to share personal
information about themselves and their family in exchange for goods and
services. And one in five children will be targeted by a predator or paedophile
The COP initiative — an integral part of ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Agenda — was
presented at the High Level Segment of ITU Council 2008, where it was endorsed
by Heads of State, Ministers and heads of international organizations from
around the world.
The theme of this year’s WTISD aims at ensuring that children can safely access
the Internet and its valuable resources without fear of falling prey to
unscrupulous predators in cyberspace.