IGF 2020 WS #171 COP, COVID and the CRC: Defining a new era


Organizer 1: Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization
Organizer 2: Intergovernmental Organization, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 3: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 4: Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 5: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 6: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 7: Intergovernmental Organization, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Speaker 1: Carla Licciardello, Intergovernmental Organization, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Hans Martens, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Anastasiya Dzyakava, Government, Eastern European Group
Speaker 4: Julia Fossi, Government, Asia-Pacific Group


Other - 90 Min
Format description: Panel with Workshop Short panel discussion, followed by group leaders facilitating smaller discussions on a range of COP subjects with final prelanary Possibility of an online sessions can be considered.

Policy Question(s)

National Child Online Protection Strategy and action plan, including legislation, regulation, child rights, education, enforcement The importance of national coordination Scope of child online protection The importance of international cooperation and multisectoral approaches

Defining the scope of child online protection Defining the impact of COVID-19 on Child Online Protection How to protect children online in the face of the recent lockdown restrictions During the pandemic and in the recovery phase, how to build a sustainable path for COP Defining what a national Child Online Protection strategy should include. National Child Online Protection checklist How to engage and orchestrate all stakeholders The role of education and innovative awareness campaigns to protect children online


GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-Being
GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


Over the last decade, the Internet has become an infinitely richer resource for children to play and learn, whilst at the same time it has also become a much more dangerous place for them to venture unaccompanied. From issues of privacy to violent and inappropriate content, to internet scammers and the spectre of online grooming, sexual abuse and exploitation, today’s children face many threats. As the benefits increase, so do the threats with perpetrators increasingly operate simultaneously across many different legal jurisdictions, limiting the effectiveness of country-specific responses and redress. More than at any time before, keeping children safe online requires a collaborative and coordinated international response, demanding the active involvement and support of a broad number of stakeholders – from Industry stakeholders including private sector platforms, service providers and network operators, to governments and civil society. Recognizing this, in 2018 ITU’s Member States requested something more than the timely refresh of the COP Guidelines that has been undertaken periodically in the past. Instead, these new revised guidelines have been re-thought, re-written and re-designed from the ground up to reflect the very significant shifts in the digital landscape in which today’s children find themselves. Never before has this been as important with these issues being significantly magnified by the Covid-19 pandemic as children naturally turned to the Internet and connected technologies to socialise, learn, play and consume. The pandemic merely disclosed how prepared (or unprepared) countries actually were to adequately protect their children online. The current situation worldwide has further shown, how crucial access to the Internat has become for the realisation of childrens rights. Using examples provided by Insafe (the network of 32 European Safer Internet Centres) about national strategies to protect children online, the workshop will also showcase the recently published ITU COP guidelines supported by examples from a number of countries who have used the guidelines to assess and update the national child online protection strategies.

Expected Outcomes

An understanding of the new UN ITU Guidelines on Child Online Protection Practical examples of national strategies and actions Call for action to implement the Guidelines in the national context and engagement of governemnt stakeholders

Panel discussion Workshop - The ITU Guidelines present the ideal opportunity to convene smaller discussion groups. 5 discussion leaders will each take a subject and invite the audience to form smaller discussion groups based on these following Child Online Protection headings ● Legislation/Regulation ● Law enforcement response ● Education ● Coordinating stakeholders ● National Awareness Discussion leaders will then feedback conclusions and recommendations to the whole group

Relevance to Internet Governance: November 2019 marked the 30th anniversary of the UN convention of the rights of the child. As Prof Sonia Livingstone of the London School of Economics wrote to mark this anniversary: “Since 1989 the Convention has promoted the importance of children’s rights within human rights debates and actions, and has promoted the importance of human rights in debates and actions concerned with child wellbeing. But this is now a digital world, and it is timely to ask: how shall we implement children’s rights in relation to the digital environment? The digital environment facilitates the rapid spread and extensive networking of information and communication in ways that can be aggregated and analysed on a global scale, which can be both beneficial and harmful. Today, all our digital interactions generate data that can be shared, searched, altered or exploited by third parties, and the consequences may be exciting or unwanted, and are often unintended and unpredictable. Many States prioritize digital innovation and deployment in their national economic development plans. The more that digital technology becomes embedded in children’s lives as part of the infrastructure of the societies in which they live, the more important is the digital environment for the realization of the full range of children’s rights, including civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, as well as the right to protection.” Internet Governance policymarkers have an obligation to consider and include childrens rights both in terms of access and participation as well as protection.

Relevance to Theme: Aiming at establishing a safe and empowering online envirnment for children, Child Online Protection with it’s multi-stakeholder approach becomes a crucial response for the develpement of trust in the online world. Online safety provided by policymakers and the private sector, combined with digital skills and digital resilience for children and their families, based on a child rights based approach, are vital for the deplowment of a healthy and empowering digital environment.

Online Participation


Usage of IGF Official Tool.