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Media Advisory

ITU will launch 2020 Guidelines on Child Online Protection (COP) with key recommendations to keep children safe online

Media registration now OPEN to the online presentation of the 2020 COP Guidelines

Geneva, 19 June 2020
Deadline for registration EXTENDED until 9:00 AM (CEST) on 23 June
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will launch new 2020 Guidelines on Child Online Protection (COP), a comprehensive set of concrete recommendations for children, parents and educators, industry and policy-makers on how to contribute to the development of a safe and empowering online environment for children and young people. The COP Guidelines serve as a blueprint that can be adapted to national or local customs and laws.
The new guidelines were re-designed from the ground up to reflect the significant shifts in the digital landscape in which children find themselves, such as the Internet of Things, connected toys, online gaming, robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence. In addition, this new edition addresses an important lacuna: the situation faced by children with disabilities, for whom the online world offers a particularly crucial lifeline to full and fulfilling social participation. Consideration of the special needs of migrant children and other vulnerable groups has also been included.
Today one in three children use the Internet. In developing countries, children and young people are leading Internet usage, and it is estimated that over the next five years, this population will more than double.
In addition, the COVID-19 global pandemic saw a surge in the number of children joining the online world for the first time, to support their studies and maintain social interaction. Due to the pandemic, many younger children began interacting online much earlier than their parents might have planned. At the same time, the need to juggle work commitments left many parents unable to supervise their children, leaving them at risk of accessing inappropriate content or being targeted by criminals in the production of child sexual abuse material. 
With this context in mind, it is clear that more than at any time before, keeping children safe online requires a collaborative and coordinated international response, demanding the active involvement and support of a broad number of stakeholders – from industry stakeholders including private-sector platforms, service providers and network operators, to governments and civil society.
Accordingly, in developing these new guidelines, ITU and its partners sought to create a highly usable, flexible and adaptable framework firmly based on international standards and shared goals – particularly the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Guidelines also aim at supporting children and their entourage by informing and engaging children, raising awareness on interned safety related issues, and supporting the development of digital skills and digital literacy.    
​WHAT: Online presentation of the 2020 Child Online Protection Guidelines. The Child Online Protection (COP) Initiative, a multi-stakeholder international initiative launched by ITU in November 2008, brings together partners from all sectors to create a safe and empowering online experience for children and young people around the world.
WHEN: Tuesday, 23 June, 13:00 (CEST)
WHERE: Press conference on the Zoom remote meeting platform. The link will be e-mailed to accredited media 30 minutes before the online press conference starts 
WHY: To respond to growing challenges of rapid development of digital devices and platforms, the 2020 COP guidelines offer recommendations to keep children safe online.
  • Ms. Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau
  • Dr. Najat Maalla M'jid, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children
  • Mr. David Wright, Director UK Safer Internet Centre
Note for UNOG-accredited media: Media accredited at the United Nations Office at Geneva are only required to email expressing their intention to participate. 
Note for general and local media: General and local media are requested to submit their request for accreditation in advance to allow enough time for verification of media credentials and to receive the link to the Zoom remote meeting platform. Click here to submit your request for accreditation.
DEADLINE EXTENDED: Please note that media interested in participating must submit their request and credentials at least 3 HOURS 24 hours before the conference starts (Monday 22 June 13:00 CEST). ​
About the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)  
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the specialized United Nations agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs), driving innovation in ICTs together with 193 Member States and a membership of over 900 companies, universities, and international and regional organizations. Established over 150 years ago in 1865, ITU is the intergovernmental body responsible for coordinating the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promoting international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, improving communication infrastructure in the developing world, and establishing the worldwide standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communications systems. From broadband networks to cutting-edge wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, oceanographic and satellite-based earth monitoring as well as converging fixed-mobile phone, Internet and broadcasting technologies, ITU is committed to connecting the world. For more information, visit: 
About the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against Children
The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General on Violence against Children is a global independent advocate promoting the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against children. The Special Representative acts as a bridge builder and a catalyst of actions in all regions, across sectors and settings where violence against children may occur. She mobilizes political support to generate renewed concern at the harmful effects of violence on children working with Governments, national institutions, civil society organizations and children promoting behavioral and social change to end violence against children by 2030.
For more information about the work of the Special Representative, visit or follow the Special Representative on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram