Children and adolescents live in a digital world, often unaware of the dangers they face. Legislation has not kept pace with changes in daily life as a result of the use of new technologies. The European Commission wants to change that, he agreed New European strategy “For better internet for children” (European Strategy for Better Internet for Kids – BIK +). It is about adapting digital services to the age of users so that they can better protect and respect each child online.
A new strategy for a better internet for children facing threats such as misinformation, cyber violence or malicious and illegal content This implies the availability of age-appropriate and “in the best interests of children” digital information services and content, the Commission emphasizes in its communication.
What does the strategy mean?
The new European Strategy for a Better Internet for Children is part of a broader strategy for children’s rights and adheres to the principle that “children and youth must be protected and supported online”.
The strategy was adopted on Wednesday along with a proposal for new EU rules to better protect children from sexual violence. It is also compliant with the Digital Services Act, the Digital Services Act (DSA). It includes new guarantees for the protection of minors and prohibits online platforms from displaying targeted ads based on profiling based on the use of their information.
The strategy is based on three pillars:
- Secure “digital experience”aims to protect and improve children’s well-being from harmful and illegal content, behavior and online threats through a secure, age-appropriate digital environment. The plan includes the introduction of the European online age control standard; support in the rapid awareness of illegal and harmful content, as well as assistance to victims of cyber violence from 2023 (through the opportunity to provide information to one number: 116 111).
– Strengthening the digital positionAcquiring the skills and abilities that children need to make informed choices and express themselves safely and responsibly online. This will happen, inter alia, by organizing media literacy campaigns for children, teachers and parents; teachers will be able to use training materials through the Betterinternetforkids.eu platform; The goal is also to combat the digital divide in terms of their skills and to support children in difficult life situations.
– Involve children in the digital environment and respect their voices through more activities to support young people’s digital experiences, to develop creativity and innovation; more experienced children should teach others; young people should also evaluate the strategy every two years. This should be done more actively by the children themselves to develop innovative, creative and secure digital experiences by actively participating, respecting them by voting for them in the digital environment.
To increase children’s participation in the digital environment, the Commission will support more experienced young people, for example, to teach others about the opportunities and dangers of the Internet. Every two years, the strategy should be evaluated by children and adolescents in terms of effectiveness.
Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President of the European Commission, said: “Every child in Europe deserves to be developed in a safe and supportive digital environment.” “With the new strategy, we want to fight cyber violence and protect access to digital devices and the skills of children, especially the most vulnerable, by protecting everyone from online malicious and illegal content.” This is in line with our core digital values and principles. “
On the other hand, Domestic Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said, “The European Digital Decade offers great opportunities for children, but technology can also pose risks.” The digital world is safe and secure.
Dubravka Šuica, vice president for democracy and demography, said the new strategy would “ensure the same rights for children online and offline, regardless of geographical, economic or personal origin.”
To implement these key pillars, the Commission invites member states and industry to participate and support related activities.
The strategy adopted on Wednesday is based on a 2012 document. On its basis, for example, every year is held Safe Internet Day. In March 2021, the Commission adopted the EU’s first comprehensive strategy on the rights of the child, requiring an update of the Better Internet for Children strategy for 2012. 750 young people, as well as parents, researchers, teachers and internet security experts, were consulted to share their views on security, skills and online content.
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