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WHY IS COMBATING CHILD ABUSE IMPORTANT?

PERSPECTIVE

There are more than 2 billion children under the age of 18, with the majority living in the developing countries in Sub Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. Many children have access to and are being impacted by the Internet. They may also be exploited by its use in unthinkable ways, and their rights violated in an unacceptable manner. Despite its many benefits, the Internet has been an enabler of abuse and exploitation all around the globe.

 

Protection of children online is fundamental to creating a healthy and progressive society, and to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals; in particular goal 16.2 calling for ending all forms of violence against children. It is equally important that government, the private sector, civil society, educators, families, parents and caregivers, all play their part.

 

The ITU’s Child Online Protection (COP) initiative covers most aspects of child online safety and together with other international initiatives provides a blueprint for all of us. Implementation requires proactive engagement by all concerned stakeholders and decision makers who must allocate resources, champion the cause and play an active role in ensuring child online safety.

 

Several modes of engagement exist to help protect children online. They require developing and enabling partnerships with a focus on keeping children safe online and empowering them for the digital world.

 

The Child Online Safety Universal Declaration strives to align all relevant stakeholders on the common mission of championing the cause of protection of children online.

PURPOSE OF THIS DECLARATION

This Child Online Safety Universal Declaration is intended to affirm our collective commitment to protect children as they access the Internet, and to work together to ensure that we exercise our responsibility of educating children across all tiers and lifestyles for the digital future ahead of them.

 

To achieve our goal we should:

WAYS OF WORKING

In being able to deliver on the above commitment, the Broadband Commission Working Group and the network of NGOs leading on online child protection like WePROTECT Global Alliance, Child Dignity Alliance, End Violence Global Partnership and others may help support all signatories of this Declaration to monitor progress alongside the Broadband Commission, the government bodies, the private sector, and other stakeholders. All stakeholders should promote the multi-stakeholder approach set out in this Declaration, the ITU COP Guidelines and the Working Group Report.

COMMITMENTS

We will advocate and assist in setting the right policy, strategy, operations, technology solutions and implementation conditions to ensure child online safety. We want to build on the power of digital technologies and leverage on innovative enablers to improve children’s online experience: what they are exposed to online; who accesses their information; and how online experience can be made more meaningful for children and their caregivers.

We recognize that successfully implementing any given strategy requires collaboration and cooperation among different actors. A measurable multi-stakeholder engagement is a function of multiple factors and one-size-fits-all approach will not work.

Part of the purpose of this Declaration is to trigger a cultural change and shift in mindsets within a clear legal framework, necessary for addressing child online protection among all the stakeholders from the public and private sectors.

SIGNED DECLARATIONS

Sign the declaration

See all Declarations

Full Report:

Child Online Safety: Minimizing the risk of Violence, Abuse and Exploitation Online (October 2019)

Download PDF