Council of Europe
About our SID activities
We celebrate this year's Safer Internet Day by continuing to translate and disseminate as widely as possible some of our latest materials and tools. Our Handbook for the policy makers on the rights of the child in the digital environment is now available in Ukrainian. This Handbook completes the Council of Europe Guidelines to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of the child in the digital environment and aims to support policy makers in our member states in the formulation of national frameworks and policies, as well as provide interpretative and practical step-by-step guidance to ensure the respect of children’s rights online. This practical tool is particularly timely in the current context when more children spend considerable time online due to the recent lockdowns and restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our leaflet “Learn about your rights in the digital environment” for children and young people under the age of 18 represents a child-friendly and appealing presentation of the Council of Europe Guidelines to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of the child in the digital environment. It exists in 14 languages and presents the key rights that children have in the digital environment and can claim from governments, schools, businesses and other stakeholders, and points to possible action that notably adults must take to ensure that children stay safe while using digital technology. The leaflet and its way of presenting these rights to children, as well as various language versions have been designed in collaboration with groups of children who were consulted in the publication process.
For children with disabilities, the digital environment can both be an ‘enabler' and ‘equaliser', providing them with additional opportunities to access information, to communicate, learn and play. Their experiences were revealed through a participatory project and summarised in a report in 2019, setting out recommendations to states, digital industry, health services and academic institutions on how to ensure safe access to the digital environment.
What we are doing to support the SID 2022 slogan of "Together for a better internet"…
We are strongly committed to fighting sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children online, through the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Convention) and bilateral and regional projects. States signing up to this Convention commit to criminalise any type of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse against children, online and offline, and the fact of knowingly accessing online child sexual abuse material. The 2nd monitoring round of the Lanzarote Committee is focused on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse facilitated by information and communication technologies (ICTs) – Addressing the challenges raised by child self-generated images and/or videos. The corresponding Implementation Report with specific recommendations and promising practices is expected to be adopted in March 2022. It will guide state Parties in better aligning their legislative and policy framework and practice with the requirements of the Lanzarote Convention, thus enhancing effective protection of children against ICTs facilitated sexual abuse.
Parents and caregivers can find useful information in our 2020 manual Parenting in the digital age - positive parenting strategies for different scenarios which promotes the idea that positive parenting practices, based on open communication and trust, should be extended into the online world. The manual provides hands-on advice on how to react, as a parent or caregiver, to critical situations encountered by children. Likewise, parents and caregivers are called upon to closely watch their own behaviours as they share online (images for example) or regularly use digital technologies throughout the day.
Our 2017 publication "Parenting in the Digital Age" (accompanied by six video tutorials) that targets five online risks of a sexual nature ("sextortion", "sexting", sex-chatting, grooming and sexualised images used in revenge - "revenge porn") remains particularly valuable source of useful information for parents and caregivers in current circumstances.
Our recent “Kiko and the Manymes” materials featuring children’s beloved character friend Kiko who embarks on new adventures discovering screens and the misuse of pictures in the online environment have proved to be particularly successful and useful. These awareness-raising materials developed in the framework of our regional Project End Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse@Europe (EndOCSEA@Europe) (which ended in June 2021), have been translated into 18 languages with more to come to reach a wide audience. The objective of the Kiko and the Manymes is twofold. Firstly, this campaign is addressed to adults, with a focus on parents and caregivers of children 4-7 years old, teaching them how to protect their children and avoid their exposure to phones with video and photo cameras or a webcam. Secondly, the experience of Kiko with screens in the book, which also presents “the golden rules of screens”, provide a basic set of rules to empower children to protect their privacy and their image in the online environment.
Through our country-specific follow-up projects in Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova on “Protecting Children against violence and sexual exploitation and abuse, including in the digital environment” which have been renewed for successive phases until December 2023, we are conducting a series of actions to raise awareness on the risks of online child sexual exploitation and abuse and promoting digital literacy and safe use of internet for children in the two countries. This includes inter alia raising awareness about Safer Internet Day on social media by disseminating relevant Council of Europe tools and materials and encouraging CSOs to join Safer Internet Day platform.
Children's rights in the digital environment were one of the five priority areas of the Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2016-2021) and will remain among key strategic objectives of the upcoming Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2022-2027). The Council of Europe aims to empower all children and young people in becoming active digital citizens, so that they can participate safely, effectively, critically and responsibly in a world filled with social media and digital technologies. To further the rights of children in the digital world, policy guidelines for member states to respect, protect and fulfil children's rights in the digital environment were published.
- Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child (2016-2021)
- Council of Europe: Children and the digital environment
- Council of Europe: Internet Governance Strategy
- Convention on the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Convention)
- Interpretative Opinion of the Lanzarote Committee on the applicability of the Lanzarote Convention to sexual offences against children facilitated through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs)
- Opinion on child sexually suggestive or explicit images and/or videos generated, shared and received by children
- Lanzarote Committee monitoring round on the protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse facilitated by information and communication technologies (ICTs): Addressing the challenges raised by child self-generated images and/or videos
- Council of Europe: Recommendation CM/Rec(2018)7 of the Committee of Ministers to Member States on Guidelines to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of the child in the digital environment
- Declaration by the Committee of Ministers on the need to protect children’s privacy in the digital environment
- Guidelines on Children’s Data Protection in an Education setting
- Handbook for the policy makers on the rights of the child in the digital environment
- Leaflet “Learn about your rights in the digital environment – child-friendly version of the Council of Europe Guidelines on the rights of the child in the digital environment
- Kiko and the Manymes, video for children aged 4-7
- Kiko and the Manymes, storybook for children aged 4-7
- Kiko and the Manymes, advice for parents
- "Two clicks forward, and one click back": report on children with disabilities in the digital environment
- So this is sexual abuse? Short explainer brochure on the Lanzarote Convention for children aged 12 and up
- So this is sexual abuse? Short explainer video on the Lanzarote Convention for children aged 12 and up
- Internet Literacy Handbook (revised edition: 2017)
- Internet Literacy Handbook (previous editions in other languages)
- Parenting in the Digital Age
- Parenting in the Digital Age - accompanying video tutorials
- Online game (in many languages): Through the Wild Web Woods
- Online game (in many languages): Through the Wild Web Woods - Teacher's guide
- Council of Europe: Safeguarding human rights online
- The Council of Europe at the Internet Governance Forum 2018
- Digital Citizenship Education project
- Free to Speak, Safe to Learn Campaign
- Beat Bullying resources
- Guide on human rights for internet users
- No Hate Speech Movement
- No Hate Speech Movement - Hate Speech Watch reporting tools
- No Hate Speech Movement - Bookmarks manual on combatting hate speech online through human rights education
- No Hate Speech Movement - We Can! support tools
- Video clip: Freedom to connect