Children and young people are often considered as digital experts and vulnerable users as well. The European Commission and many EU countries have already introduced measures to improve the access to the internet for children and young people and, at the same time, to make it a safer place for them. What are the actual risks children and young people are facing online? How helpful are the measures taken so far on European and national level? Who are the key players when it comes to creating a safer internet and how should they each be involved?
Following the AGFs invitation, experts from politics, organisations and academics got together at the European expert meeting “Growing up digital – how can we make the internet safe for children and young people?” to discuss these and other questions. The event focussed foremost on the existing measures to protect children and on concrete experiences from some Member States. However, it was also discussed which further steps are necessary for a better online protection nationally and on EU level. The introductory input about the results of the EU Kids Online study started by pointing out the crucial internet risks for children and young people and gave a first insight into the various conditions and problem areas in different member states.
From the country reports from Denmark and Estonia, two pioneer states regarding the use of the internet, participants learned about their most frequent risks and current approaches to achieve more internet security. The country reports were complemented by a detailed look at the legal conditions for online child protection in Germany. In the concluding inputs, two European organisations (COFACE Families Europe and eNACSO) outlined possible future scenarios in handling online risks and made proposals on how to improve the online safety for children and young people, especially at EU level. The requests and the panel discussion showed that a safer internet for children and young people is a challenging task that can only be successfully mastered when all stakeholders will be involved.
The English version of the report is available here
More information on AGF’s website