On the 23 of January EIF hosted a breakfast debate on Children in the Online Environment. The occasion chaired by Sabine Verheyen MEP and EIF Political member was an occasion for the EU Institutions and Industry representatives to discuss all the latest news and developments in this area.
Natasha Jackson, Head of Content Policy at GSMA, presented mobile operators efforts to ensure safety online. The boom of smartphones changes children’s ability to access the internet, therefore requiring a multi-stakeholder approach. Hence the ICT coalition was established to unite efforts to make the internet safer for children. Listen to Natasha Jackson’s full speech:
Lucy Woodward, Director of Interactive Live Services for EMEA at Walt Disney, also joined the debate. She presented Club Penguin, a virtual playground space for children. Ms. Woodward explained how they use technology and human resources to keep this space safe for children. She also elaborated on how parents can get involved in managing children’s presence online. Listen to Lucy Woodward’s full speech:
Jakub Boratynski, Head of Unit: Fight against organised crime at DG HOME, presented the European Commission’s efforts to tackle sexual abuse of children online. He presented the Directive on combating sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography supported by the European Parliament and the Council. The Global Alliance is another initiative aiming to unite government efforts around the world to more effectively combat online sexual crimes against children and to express political commitment to fight this problem. Mr. Boratynski presented the declaration of the Global Alliance against child sexual abuse online. Listen to Jakub Boratynski’s full speech:
After the panel a lively debate took place where attending guests continued the discussion on the internet’s opportunities for children, the role of parents and the responsibility of all industry in keeping children safe online. A suggestion was made to create a domain name which would indicate children-friendly websites’ content. It was also acknowledged that the digital world is not different from a reflection of what is happening in the real world so the search for solutions needs to include the real world.