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SDG

Child Online Protection



POP: Protection through online Participation
How children and the youth are using the Internet to access support systems, such as a helplines, services and peer support networks.


Today ITU data reveals that, globally, 71 per cent of the world’s youth are using the Internet, compared with 57 per cent of other age groups. Their lives online and offline are inherently interlinked and both combine to affect their wellbeing outcomes and life chances. More children and young people are increasingly active online. 

LEARN MORE ABOUT POP
As the General Comment No. 25 by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child recognised, the digital environment acts as nexus to providing diverse op​portunities and choices. It has opened many doors for children and young people to realize the full range of their rights, such as the right to participate, express themselves, access information, communicate, and learn, and to live free from violence. Creation of online protection resources​ led by young people, particularly in grassroots’ spaces, have also emerged driven by peer-to-peer support to help promote online safety.

Children are using the Internet to access help and protection: according to a recent report by Child Helpline International, the number of children contacting helplines increased by 25% from 2019 to 2020, including an increase in those using digital means to make contact. Moreover, young people are increasingly finding their own innovative online solutions to support their mental health and wellbeing and that of other young people. In particular, research has shown​ the crucial role played by peer networks in reporting and preventing online violence. 

Hence, there is an urgent need to build on this evidence when developing systems and mechanisms to protect children and young people from violence. 

To emphasize the need to develop safety related measures in-line with this evidence, ITU has initiated a collaboration with Child Helpline International, Global Kids Online, IBM Z, ITU, the Office of the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence Against Children, the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, UNICEF, and the UK Safer Internet Centre, to establish and disseminate a global mapping of the current ways that children and young people use the digital environment to access protection services, support each other, and stay safer, both online and offline, and to better understand the effectiveness of these systems. 

In its first phase, the project endeavours to understand how the digital environment is currently used by children and youth to access safety means such as helplines, support systems and online protection resources to access the support they need. 
In its second phase, the initiative aims to produce recommendations for relevant stakeholders, building on the analysis of findings of the global mapping. 

This initiative was officially kicked-off at Safer Internet Day 2022



More detailed information can be found in the concept note and on this blog . 

To get in touch on the initiative, contact us at cop@itu.int.   ​


​Read here the ITU Policy Brief based on the ITU Guidelines on Child online ProtectionKeeping children safe in the digital environment: The importance of protection and empowerment.

In light of the growing glo​​bal challenge of online safety, ITU and partners have developed a Policy Brief on the importance of protection and empowerment of children online.
Visit the dedicated website on the ITU Guidelines on Child online Protection for more details.​​

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Online Safety with Sango


First season: Five video lessons on Cybersecurity for kids
Do you want to learn more about what you can do to stay safe online? Join our online safety lessons with Sango, starting in July 2021 with the first episode of our first season: “Cybersecurity for Kids”, developed in collaboration with Eni and Deloitte Italia. Let’s go on an adventure to learn about online safety from kids, for kids!

Watch one lesson per month in all official UN languages!
​​Until then, stay tuned, stay safe, engage!

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Regional Launches of the 2020 COP Guidelines

Global Launch of the COP Guidelines: See recorded webcast here​.​























Find the Guidelines in all UN languages here:http://www.itu.int/go/cop-guidelines-languages


​​​​COP GUIDELINES IMPLEMENTATION 2021-2023







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​NATIONAL INFOGRAPHICS


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​​​​COVID-19 RESPONSE

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- #COVID19 has underscored the importance of keeping children safe online.
New resource pack from UNICEF and ITU, GPEVAC, UNESCO, UNODC, WePROTECT Global Alliance, WHO and World Childhood Foundation USA sets out key priorities and recommendations to promote positive online experience for children.

- Agenda for Action to reduce the negative impact of COVID-19 on Children: Following the Secretary General’s policy brief on the impact of COVID-19 on Children, ITU, UNICEF, UNHCR, UNOHR, UNODC, ILO, IOM, the UN Inter-Agency Working Group on Violence against Children has put together an Agen​da for Action, providing a child rights and multi-sectoral framework for action during and after COVID-19. 
​Find here the Agenda​​​​​ for Ac​tion: Inter-Agency Working Group on Violence against Children Agenda for Acti​on (ArabicFrench, Spanish​)

- Children at increased risk of harm online during global COVID-19 pandemic: 
New technical note​ from UNICEF and ITU, GPEVAC,​​ UNESCO, UNODC, WePROTECT Global Alliance, WHO and World Childhood Foundation USA aims to help governments, ICT companies, educators and parents protect children in lockdown. ​
​Find here the Technic​al Note:COVID-19 and its implications for protecting children online​

​- UN experts call for urgent action to mitigate heightened risks of violence against children: 
UN human rights experts have appealed to States to boost child protection measures to help safeguard the welfare of millions of children worldwide who may be more exposed to violence, sale, trafficking, sexual abuse and exploitation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

- Australian e-Safety Commission launches Global online safety advice for parents and carers: 
The Australian eSafety developed a Global online ​safety advice for parents and carers – COVID 19 pack​, designed for parents and carers around the world to keep their children safe online. 
Find ​​here the Global o​nline safety advice for parents and carers – COVID-19 (ArabicChinese, EnglishFrenchRussian, Spanish​)​​



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MASCOT DOWNLOADS: Sangophone says!

More exciting things will happen featuring Sango, our Child Online Protection mascot soon! Read below what Sango says@Safer Internet Day 2021!

​“Hey kids!
Safer Internet Day is my birthday!
Let’s celebrate and have some fun online.
My ITU family is joining up with Eni and Deloitte Italia, so we can go on an adventure to learn, and share ideas about online safety, for you to up your digital game.
Stay safe, and have fun online!”
 
Check out the ITU COP website and stay tuned!

 Click here​ to get the hi-rez images of the Mascot
Click here​ to see what Sangaphone says.

STORY: Sangophone, a revolutionary phone!
Hello, my name is Sangophone and I am a Japanese phone. I live in Tokyo in a family of three children – brothers Kiko, who is 4, and Yoko, who is 10, and their big sister Kim, who is 15. As my use exposes them to all kinds of dangers, I decided to be a revolutionary phone that alerts them and helps them fight against the dangers of the internet. And, believe me, I have my work cut out for me every day!
There are many different dangers, depending on the age of the children. For example, Kiko watches videos on unsafe web pages, Yoko plays violent games that do not correspond to his age, and Kim shares photos of herself on social media…
So I thought of several ways to warn them about the risks and protect them from bad online habits. For example, as soon as I am in little Kiko’s hands, I activate the parental control to block all sites that could potentially be unsuitable for his age. I also set my timer to go off after 15 minutes, because too much time online isn’t a good idea. 
When 10-year old Yoko plays online games, I allow access to only those that are age-appropriate, so that he is not confronted by shocking, or even traumatic images. I also ensure Yoko uses pre-registered IDs that do not give any information about his real identity, and I display an alert message that reminds him to always be wary of the people he plays with online, because one cannot be certain of their true identity. Finally, when his connection lasts too long, I don’t hesitate to put myself on standby to remind him that it would be nice to go out and play with his real friends. 
As for Kim, I make sure she takes more care on social media platforms. In fact, she could have been a victim of cyber-bullying had I not immediately blocked the photo that one of her classmates had sent of a donkey with glasses, captioned with the phrase “Here is Kim the nerd”. 
Finally, for all three children, I put my at-sign headband on my camera to prevent any intrusion into their private life and that of their family! This is how I fight to help my little protégés! ​​



Protectin​g children online is a global challenge, which requires a global approach. While many efforts to improve child online protection are already under way, their reach has been more national than global.​​​​

ITU launched the Child Online Protection (COP) Initiative in November 2008 as a multi-stakeholder effort within the Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA) framework. The initiative brings together partners from all sectors of the global community to create a safe and empowering online experience for children around the world. COP was presented to the ITU Council in 2008 and endorsed by the UN Secretary-General, Heads of State, Ministers and heads of international organizations from around the world. 


KEY OBJECTIVES OF COP:
  • ​Identify risks and vulnerabilities to children in cyberspace
  • Create awareness
  • Develop practical tools to help minimize risks
  • Share knowledge and experience

COP takes a holistic approach to promoting child online safety, developing strategies that span five key areas:

LEGAL MEASURES
​A comprehensive framework of law is an essential tool for promoting a supportive and safer online environment for children and young people. COP tracks approaches taken in different countries with varying legal systems and produces guidelines designed to help Member States achieve their goals.

TECHNICAL & PROCEDURAL MEASURES
​COP develops key recommendations and standards to support the protection of children online by all key stakeholders.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES
​COP promotes a model national framework to assist in the development of a positive online environment for children and young people. COP encourages the creation of COP Units at national level and is developing a series of indicators to assist with the measurement of progress in implementing online child protection initiatives at global, regional, and national levels.

CAPACITY BUILDING
​COP supports countries in the implementation of COP National Frameworks and organizes strategic events at regional and global level to support these processes.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
​COP promotes a global culture of digital citizenship and encourages the establishment of cooperative arrangements for sharing information in order to eliminate or mitigate risks to children and young people online.

The initiative works with partners to develop cybersecurity strategies across these areas and promote safe online environments for children around the world.

BLOG


The WePROTECT Global Alliance (WPGA) is pleased to welcome ITU as the newest member in the global fight against child sexual abuse and exploitation.
It is an uncomfortable reality that while technology offers incredible possibilities to our societies, and can support children to exercise their rights, never before has it been easier for those who want to sexually abuse and exploit children to make contact with potential victims around the world, share images of their abuse and encourage each other to commit further crimes.
Read more...





COVID-19 has affected the lives of billions of people across the world, with unprecedented peacetime restrictions imposed. The predictions of threats and harms have highlighted a broad range of impacts on children, spanning child sexual exploitation and child sexual abuse material online through the impact of the restrictions and school closures on children’s health and wellbeing.



Why we must act to protect children online​ by Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden

COVID-19: 7 key ways to keep children safe online
For many parents, the question of how to ensure their children’s online safety is now more pressing than ever before.
What can parents do to minimize online risk? Here are some tips from the upcoming updated version of ITU’s Guidelines for Parents, Carers, Guardians, and Educators for Child Online Protection:
  1. ​Set up parental controls.
  2. Talk with your children about online safety.
  3. Help your children be tech ready.
  4. Know how to report problems and seek help.
  5. Create a culture of support so that children and young people feel comfortable seeking help.
  6. Manage children’s screen time.
Read more...


NEWS

July
#COVID19 has underscored the importance of keeping children safe online.
New resource pack​ from UNICEF and ITU, GPEVAC, UNESCO, UNODC, WePROTECT Global Alliance, WHO and World Childhood Foundation USA sets out key priorities and recommendations to promote positive online experience for children.​

June
Webinar "Online Dialogue on the Launch of the COP Guidelines & beyond", Wednesday​ 24 June 2020 at 14:00-15:30

April
Agenda for Action to reduce the negative impact of COVID-19 on Children
Following the Secretary General’s policy brief on the impact of COVID-19 on Children, ITU, UNICEF, UNHCR, UNOHR, UNODC, ILO, IOM, the UN Inter-Agency Working Group on Violence against Children has put together an Agenda for Action (Arabic​FrenchSpanish​), providing a child rights and multi-sectoral framework for action during and after COVID-19.

Children at increased risk of harm online during global COVID-19 pandemic
Press release: New technical note​ from UNICEF and ITU, GPEVAC,​​ UNESCO, UNODC, WePROTECT Global Alliance, WHO and World Childhood Foundation USA aims to help governments, ICT companies, educators and parents protect children in lockdown. ​

UN experts call for urgent action to mitigate heightened risks of violence against children
UN human rights experts have appealed to States to boost child protection measures to help safeguard the welfare of millions of children worldwide who may be more exposed to violence, sale, trafficking, sexual abuse and exploitation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Australian e-Safety Commission launches Global online safety advice for parents and carers 
The Australian eSafety developed a Global online ​safety advice for parents and carers – COVID 19 pack​, designed for parents and carers around the world to keep their children safe online. 

Preventing The Sale And Exploitation Of Children In A Rapidly Changing World
Technology A New Enabler Of Child Exploitation:​ accompanying paper on Child Protection and technology shed light on latest report by UN Special Rapporteur .



RELEVANT DOCUME​NTS & GUIDELINES

All new ​2020 Guidedlines available here and here​.
​​2020: ​​Storybook: Online with SANGO (ArabicChinese​English​, French, RussianSpanish)
​2020: Workbook: Work with SANGO​ (Arabic, ChineseEnglish, French​, Russian​Spanish)
2020: Workbook: Teacher's Guide (Arabic, ChineseEnglish, French, Russian​Spanish)
​2020: Guidelines for Parents and Educators (Arabic, ChineseEnglish, French, RussianSpanish)
​​2020: Guidelines for Policy-makers (Arabic, ChineseEnglish, Fren​ch​, Russian​Spanish)
​​2020: Guidelines for Industry (Arabic​, ChineseEnglish, Fren​ch, RussianSpanish)
​2020: Global online safety advice for parents and carers – COVID-19 (Arabic | Chinese | English​ | French | Russian | Spanish​)
​2020: Technical note: COVID-19 and its implications for protecting children online​
2019: Child Online Safety: Minimizing the Risk of Violence, Abuse and Exploitation Online​ 
​2016: G​​uidelines for Children (Arabic | Chinese | English French | Russian | Spanish)
​​​2016: Guidelines for Parents & Educators (Arabic | Chinese | English French | Russian |Spanish​)
​2014: Guidelines for Industry (English | French | Spanish)
2009: Guidelines for Policy Makers (Arabic | Chinese | English​ | French | Russian | Spanish)

FEATURED ACTIVITIES
Council Working Group on Child Online Protection
COP Nati​onal Survey​​
Child Online Protection Statistical Framework and Indicators
​National Case Study: Costa Rica
Child Online Protection Pilot Program in Ethiopia​
COP National Strategy Framework
The Child Online Protection Challenge
Partnership with IWF

​CASE STUDIES & RESOURCES
                

Case Studies

​​​​​​Mobile Operators
Internet Service Providers
Content Providers, Online Retailers and Applications Peveloper
s
User Generated Content, Interactive and Social Media Service Providers
​National and Public Service Broadcasters
Hardware Manufacturers, Operating System Developers and A​pp Stores​
  

Resources

​​
Policy
Industry
Parents and Educators
​​Children
​​COVID-19

WORKING TOGETHER
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