IGF 2019 OF #14
Online Protection of Underage Users


It is proposed to invite government officials, representatives of international organizations, scholars and representatives of internet enterprises to discuss issues related to children's online protection, to call on the whole world to join hands to pay attention to protect the legal rights and interests of minors in cyberspace. We look forward to fully exchanging international experiences, discussing practical solutions, achieving a series of fruitful consensus on the protection of minors online through IGF, especially on this forum. 1) Provide an in-depth exchange of experiences and practices in protection of children online and listen to their own ideas and suggestions; 2) Discuss the measures of children online protection such as policies, laws, economics as well as technology, and try to find out a feasible ways to strengthen the social co-governance; 3) Initiate a proposal for children online protection to promote the construction of a trustful and safety environment; 4) Promote the national legislation of children online protection,facilitate the participation of the children in the relevant decision-making process,raise the awareness of children, parents or guardians, educators and all the other stakeholders on protecting children from online risks while promoting the benefits of technical advancements for children.


Cyberspace Administration of China
Bureau of Policy and Regulations,Cyberspace Administration of China


1. Jasmina Byrne, Chief of Policy, Office of Global Insight and Policy, UNICEF;

2.ZHANG Jiyu, Executive Dean of Future Rule of Law Institute, Renmin University;

3.WANG Lei, Secretary General, Sina Internet Law Institute;

4.Bernd Holznagel, Professor, University of Münster;

5.Zhou Hui,Assistant Professor of Institute of law of China Academy of Social Sciences;

6.HE Bo, Researcher, China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.

Online Moderator



GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-Being

1. Key Policy Questions and Expectations

1. What are the problems and challenges of online protection of underage users?
2. Sharing the experiences and practices of online protection of underage users.
3. How to use the laws and policies to strengthen the online protection of underage users?

2. Summary of Issues Discussed

The Internet is changing the production and life of human beings, and driving social and economic development.With the increased access to the internet, social media platforms and online games children are encountering new forms of risks from violence and abuse.

There was broad support for the view that legislation is an efficient way to enforce the online protection for the underage users. Speakers from Germany and China introduced their domestic legislation and practical achievements of the online protection of underage users. Some proposed that online protection of underage users should include two sides, one is to control the negative impacts, and the other is to promote positive guidance. Some hold the opinion that there are some common problems in children's information protection, such as reducing the experience of children’s online services, constituting reverse discrimination against children's users and so on. Some raised up that purely online solutions won’t be effective to keep children save from online violence. We also have to pay attention to offline causes of violence and develop measures that address children's life circumstances, context, availability of support networks and broader family and child support. Both the presenters and participates agreed that an integrated child protection system can be achieved only through the cooperation of all stakeholders. 

3. Policy Recommendations or Suggestions for the Way Forward

Social-cultural recommendations: 1) Greater evidence and understanding is needed of the interplay between offline and online violence and its causes and how the multi-stakeholder approach that includes governments, the private sectors, families and children can effectively prevent violence and protect children from harm. This includes both education and awareness raising but also recovery and support services that take into account both online and offline risks; 2) Internet has no boundaries, online protection of underage users is a common issue all around the world, to prevent and respond to violence and abuse of online underage users needs jointly efforts from stakeholders of the whole world; 3) Online protection of underage users should include two sides, one is to control the negative impacts, and another is to promote positive guidance.

Governance issues recommendations: 1) Monitor the applications of the legislation related to online protection of underage users in cyberspace and confirm the age ratings; 2) Consider different opinions regarding the potential effects of technology on children’s growth and development.

4. Other Initiatives Addressing the Session Issues

The presenters discussed the common problems in children's information protection system in different countries and suggested that we could address more attention to the following issues: 1) reducing the experience of children’s online services and constituting reverse discrimination against children's users; 2) high social cost of identifying children's age and obtaining guardian's consent; 3) the sharing of platform responsibility and guardian responsibility.

Two presenters introduced the Regulation on the Protection of Children's Personal Information Online, which was the first legislation in China specifically aim at children's online protection. The law sets out strict requirements for network operators that collect, store, use, transfer, or discloses the personal information of minors under 14 years old.

A professor from University of Münster introduced The Three-Level Protection System of Minors in German Media Law: 1) absolutely illegal contents–particularly dangerous contents; 2) prohibited contents – seriously harmful contents; and 3) contents detrimental to the development of minors.

5. Making Progress for Tackled Issues

To strengthen the online protection of underage users, the presenters had shared their experiences and pointed out that the rapid development of the Internet provides infinite possibilities for the growth of underage users, while the protection of underage users in cyberspace is still not enough. Some contents in cyberspace have a fierce conflict with many traditional educational concepts, especially some traditional educational principles and concepts in both China and many other countries in the East. It is still necessary to strengthen the control and guidance of access sites and equipment to control the negative impacts and promote positive guidance.

6. Estimated Participation

There were around 100 participants attended this forum in Convention Hall I-C in person.

There were 97 online participants.

There were nearly 50 women present this forum onsite.

7. Reflection to Gender Issues

There was no gender issue discussed in this forum.

8. Session Outputs

Outputs of IGF 2019 OF #14 Online Protection of Underage Users: https://www.intgovforum.org/content/igf-2019-of-14-online-protection-of-underage-users