Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Fiche :: Action 36: Support reporting of illegal content online and awareness campaigns on online safety for children

Action 36: Support reporting of illegal content online and awareness campaigns on online safety for children

22 October 2010

Support reporting points for illegal content online (hotlines) and awareness campaigns on online safety for children run at national level and enhance pan-European cooperation and sharing of best practice in this field.

What is the problem? Children are not safe online

Internet has become one of the main distribution channels for material (images, films, audio files etc) depicting sexual abuse of children. Internet Watch Foundation confirmed 1.316 child abuse domains in 2009. The content is becoming worse over years: 44% of the images reported to the largest hotline depict the rape or torture of a child; 70% of the victims are under the age of 10.

More and more European children go online via mobile phones and game consoles. More than 50% of 13-16 year olds go online from their bedroom and more than half of 9-16 year olds have a social networking profile. At the same time, young people are a vulnerable group as they do not always see the risks of their online actions such as sharing personal information online or talking to people they have never met in real life.

Why is EU action required? Collective fight against the illegal content online

Online distribution of child abuse material is a global problem – abuse takes place and is uploaded in one place, the hosting might be in another country, and downloading happens all over the world - this international dimension makes it harder to detect and combat. Therefore, a collective effort supported by the EU would increase the effectiveness of fighting illegal content online.

These issues are still relatively new and require fast reaction. Despite cultural differences, the risks for children are similar all over the EU. Therefore sharing of best practice experiences in the field of awareness raising among countries is necessary to achieve large scale results in the short term.

What will the Commission do?

In 2011 :

Safer Internet Day, 8 February 2011 was celebrated in more than 70 countries worldwide to raise awareness among youth, parents and teachers regarding the safe use of new technologies

The Safer Internet Programme supported Safer Internet Centres in all the Member States who run hotlines, awareness centres and helplines and who are working at to raise awareness among children, parents and educators on the safe use of new technologies, as well as to fight illegal content online
Provide a single, comprehensive web portal to provide visibility for awareness activities, helplines and hotlines;

Started to collect statistics and information about the awareness raising, helpline and hotline activities and the results of the Safer Internet Centres across Europe;

Publish a report on best practice awareness campaigns on Safer Internet;

Monitor the implementation of "notice and take down" of child abuse images;

Strengthen cooperation of Child Sexual Abuse investigators between Member States

Encourage sharing investigation tools (software tools etc.) between Member States

In 2012 :

Collect and disseminate information about the awareness, helpline and hotline activities and the results of the Safer Internet Centres across Europe.

Continue to support the work of the Safer Internet Centres

Follow up on the Connecting Europe Facility, the follow up to the Safer Internet Programme for the period 2014 – 2020

Support the Safer Internet Day 2012, celebrated on 08 February under the slogan "Discover the digital world together…safely!"

Additional Information

Contact:

patricia.manson@ec.europa.eu

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