COFACE’s activities in the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) focus on:
- Bridging the digital divide. All families must be in a position to reap the benefit new information technologies, without facing new risks of social exclusion.
- Promoting the role of new information technologies as enabler for more social inclusion, including through the development of online social services for families.
- Preventing risks faced by family members, and in particular children, when using new information technologies.
e-Inclusion of Families
Families are primarily concerned by the digital divide. For most Europeans the family household is the place where they acquire their Internet skills in the daily life. As consumers, families are also a driving force in the growth of the information society. However families with low income are less connected to the Internet than the average. For these families who do not use a computer and the Internet, this means lagging behind the rest of the society when it comes to supporting their children in their education, to communicating, and to benefiting from a professional, social and cultural tool.
In battling the cross-generational exclusion in general, the family approach in digital divide is essential. Children from vulnerable families are also facing more risks on the Internet as a consequence of their parents’ lack of digital competences.
Generally speaking, families need to be empowered with IT skills to better ensure their children safety online; otherwise some parents are tempted to discard Internet access at home, which leads to exclusion. At the same time, vulnerable families and children (including single parents, large families and violent families) are a target group for inclusion through ICT policies, such as inclusive eGovernment.
Families are therefore key stakeholders for the expansion of an inclusive information society. The family dimension is crucial both in policies promoting the use of ICT to overcome exclusion and in policies aiming at reducing gaps in ICT usage.
Published on 13 Sep 2011
Updated on 09 Jun 2016